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[Source: University of Missouri - Kansas City.http://library.umkc.edu/spec-col/ww2/1939/jive.htm#jive] I made a post just now on German propaganda warning and harrowing the Brits to come to the peace table because Germany was surrounded by non-threatening neutral countries which in effect were surrounding Great Britain. Of course when I posted it I immediately bumped into this piece of music, "Blitzkrieg Baby (You Can't Bomb Me)", by F. and D. Fisher. The ong is much like its title, a kind of a neutral song so far as where it stood on neutrality and Blitzkrieg, though it does imply that if the Germans did attack that whoever it was would not be neutral, though that woul dbe stating the obvious. Anyway, it is an interesting find to me, and the performance is first class: greats Lester Young on sax and Una Mae Carlisle singing make this high, um, calibre.
One thing is for sure--this pamphlet, which has no place of publication or date--was definitely a German war propaganda effort, printed in English, published in Germany, and I guess distributed wherever the English-language-winds and luck would take it. My copy come from a collection that I purchased from the Library of Congress, and it is luckily stamped August 6, 1940, for the date it was received by the library. So the summer (or earlier) of 1940 is the date: the Battle of Britain had begun in July, Dunkirk had been evacuated June 4, France surrendered a few weeks later, and the war was not going well for the U.K. Germany was still a year away from their disastrous attempt to conquer the Soviet Union with Operation Barbarossa, and at this time in 1940, the U.S.S.R. was its vital trading partner. Great Britain was waging a successful economic war/blockade against Germany, which was without any real finance and with no reserves to purchase foreign goods, so in spite of the successes of the invasions and Blitzkreig, the Brits were enjoying a certain level of success. And so this pamphlet appears, one of others, a small part of a hearts-and-minds campaign to try and apply pressure to Britain's allies to convince her to sue for peace.
The main thrust of the maps of the pamphlet was to show Germany surrounded by not-threatening allies, pillowed by neutrals and countries it had overtaken (with no attempt made to label Poland). The interior map (above) is a very faint attempt to show the comparative strength of Germany being surrounded by neutrals in 1939 as compared with being surrounded by enemy countries in 1914. The message of course was that Germany was strong in 1914-1918 in spite of the "threatening" neighbors, so with relatively benevolent neighbors in 1939 they would be even more effective as a war-making national machine. Perhaps this had some influence somewhere, maybe among the Vichy French. And some elements in the U.S.
The U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey was a massive intelligence operation composed of a 1000-person team. It attempted to establish the successes and failures of American bombing operations during WWII, resulting in a 208-volume set of findings for the war in Europe and another 108 volumes for the war in the Pacific. Atomic bombing was another matter. I am not going to address the effectiveness issues of different sorts of bombing here--it is a very large and complex issue, and just outside the scope of what I set down to down just now and the amount of time I have. What I did want to do was share this typed/manuscript material (below) that was kept by a member of the analytical team serving in the Pacific. It is interesting to see how the form of the final reports took shape from some of the original notes.
This small archive—from the estate of J.D. Coker, who served in the U.S. Navy on the US Strategic Bombing Survey Ships' Bombardment section, and who later became a leading official in the U.S. Atomic Preparedness programs (such as the President's Committee on Emergency Preparedness)—are mimeographs and manuscripts that comprise what seems to be the summary of the Navy's bombardment of Kamaishi, Muroran, Hitachi, Kushimoto, Shimizu and Hamamatsu. This was about the extent of the Allied naval bombardments against Japan, as it was not possible for battleships to maneuver close enough to the Japanese homeland to fire against industrial and production centers. (It may have also been the case that the aircraft used to protect the assaulting ships could have perhaps done as much damage to the targets as the ships themselves.)
There were many integral components to firing a cannon on a ship, not the least of which were the Powder Boys, the small, young, semi-strong kids who would run the gunpowder from a below-decks armory to whatever gun deck was needed. It was a relatively simple procedure, filling up a longish tube (cannon derived from the Italian cannone--or large tube--which came from the Latin canna from the Greek kannē, meaning something like a reed or any similar hollow thing) with gunpowder and then cannonball/shot and then wad, then causing the gunpowder/propellant to ignite and throw the ball. Basically, that was it, though you needed to maintain the cannon, aim it, and so on (don't forget to first swab the bore from unexploded gunpowder so you don't blow things up!).
The (first) image above of found modernist/semi-dadaist artwork comes form 1812 and was found in Rees' Encyclopedic Dictionary from the article on "Shipbuilidng" and illustrates the ways in which the stern of a ship can be outfitted with cannons--actually, the sterns of the HMS Bodiceae (28 18-pounders) and HMS Hamadryad (36 guns). Also by this time cannons had been carried on naval ships for nearly four hundred years, while the first cannons appeared on the ground in Europe another few hundred years before that.
In the third detail (below) we see the coverage of the four cannons placed in the stern of the Bodicae, mainly pointing out its weaknesses, showing the undefended arc, which comprises about 1/3, or about 60 degrees of the defensive posture. The Hamadryad on the other hand shows 100% coverage of the 180+ degrees of attack possibilities shown, along with secondary and teriary areas of fire coverage covered by more than one gun.
A fine,tiny detail from the full engraved sheet:
And the full sheet:
This is pretty much all that was needed to fire a cannon, except the men of course.
Yes, it is 1942; yes, Great Britain had been fighting the Nazis for nearly three years at this point, the Americans joining the fight just 10 months prior; yes there were bombings; yes there were hardships. And with great stiff-upper-lippedness, this becomes somewhat seen in advertisements that I noticed in reading through Nature magazine for the last quarter or so of 1942. Scientific instruments and the components that went into their constructions were scarce or non-existent, conscripted to the war effort. For example Newton Instruments (72 Wigmore Str., Lond), announced on the front page of Nature that “our production resources are very largely occupied by National demands”, but that even though their inventory was far down, they were still servicing existing equipment.
Baker of High Holburn made a similar announcement, and went a step farther, asking clients in their URGENTLY REQUIRED ad to release scientific equipment to the national war effort.
On the back back of the October 10, 1942 issue of nature we see the ad for William A. Webb (Skinner Str., London) apologising for being “unable to meet...requirements at the present time, but feel sure you appreciate we are sending out precision balances where the need is greatest.” Then: “later, you will once again be able to get balances...”
This does give a sense of pause, stopping the reader, finding the outside world, and war, showing itself of a giant scale in small scale in the pages of a scientific journal.
And what a good show these companies made in their support of the united national effort.
It is good to remember the early part of the war and the efforts made by the people of Great Britain, and their sacrifices, This notice appeared in the November 2, 1940 issue of Nature which recounts the evacuation measures of children during the Battle of Britain. By this point more than half of the school children in the London evacuation areas had been been evacuated, with nearly a million leaving altogether in a total evacuated population of some 3.5 million people. (At the very beginning of the war there was also an evacuation program for Jewish children from Germany to England--this was the Kindertransport which brought some 10,000 children to safety.) It was a sort of reverse/anti "Children's Crusade" (as in the subtitle for Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five), where rather than an army of children sent to expel or convert Muslims from Jerusalem/Holy Land in the 13th century, the children were sent to safety away from a crusade against their homeland. The major difference besides the existence of their opposition is that this evacuation was real, and the so-called "Children's Crusade" was not.
The Battle of Britain was fought primarily from 10 July to 31 October 1940, so by the time this report was published the Brits had been able to turn the tide of Hitler's plan. (The air strikes wouldn't really end until the Nazis turned their attention to the Soviet Union in Operation Barbarossa in May 1941.) And that plan, named Luftschlacht um England, was to overtake and destroy the British capacity in the air, for as long as the English had command of the airspace there would be no way that the Nazis could force an invasion by land/sea (at least in the minds of the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht and Hitler). And so the Nazis failed--it was their first major defeat, and, especially, with the turning of attention east, it was a pivotal point of the war
The numbers of loses: England: 1,023 fighters: 376 bombers, 148 coastal command aircraft for a total of 1,547 aircraft and 544 pilots and aircrew killed. There were also 27,450 civilians killed and 32,138 wounded. The Germans lost 873 fighters and 1,014 bombers for a total of 1,887 aircraft and 2,500 pilots
This pamphlet certainty has entry to the evocative Fantastic and Improbable Pamphlet Covers Collection, though I was a little stumped by not being able to make it reveal itself to me with a short effort. It was written by J. Kmicic and from what I can see was probably published during WWII, though there is no publishing information and nothing in the text to hang a firm date on. (There is a periodicals reception stamp in it from November 1946 fro the periodicals division of the Library of Congress, but that doesn't mean it was accessed right after publication, though it does put a limit to how old it isn't.) As it turns out the keys to WWIV is Poland. That a very strong and heavily armed Poland would be the cornerstone of a defense of the West in the East, that the further the extent of a strong Polish eastern border reached the greater the play "of our Western culture will extend". Kmicic makes the case that it if Poland were stronger then it could have resisted Napoleon (evidently WWI), and the Kaiser (making WWI into WWII) and Hitler (WWII=WWIII). The WWIV part is murkier because there isn't a clue so far as I can tell that the author knew what happened to Poland when the Nazis fell and the Soviets moved in. Had that been the case, the call for having a strong and unified Poland would probably not have been played so heavily. A "Mighty Poland", Kmicic writes, means "freedom for all smaller nations of Europe" and therefore "the impossibility of world war". There are a few things that I've missed no doubt in my speed-read, but I was just after the cover, anyway.
Hitler and Company tied to sell the idea of an aggressive Polish nation, that the attack launched on 3 September 1939 was a preventative measure to stop the advance and attack of Poland against Germany. Not too many people believed it--at least outside of Germany--but Hitler tried it out, anyway. And why not? When most of everything he said was grounded in The Big Lie, why not pile it on? The great the untruth, the more impossible it is, and the ore you say that you believe it to be the case, the more of a possibility exists for others to believe it, too--because who in their right mind would say something so insane about something else that is equally unbelievable? Therefore, the insane statement much be so. That's part of The Big Lie.
I found this arresting map in a tiny publication called ...Sans Condition, which was published in the first half of 1943. The publication is only 12 pages long but has a number of evocative images of Germany being bombed and lines of German POWs, in general a propaganda piece for French-speaking folk (which was printed god-knows-where) produced deep in the war and at a time when the tide has about turned on the Nazi regime.
The title of this post is the title of the map, "Ils ont decide ou, quand et comment les Allies lanceront leurs attacques"--and you don't need to know French to know what it says.
And the cover, which is basically "Surrender Without Condition":
This is one of hose books that I couldn't possibly spend any time with, save for skimming the illustrations looking for something unusual. Generally popular books published by Certain Publishing Houses on the future of warfare tend to read like bad sci fi--having not read this one I can't address that here, though this pic found at the end of the book may offer a little insight to the rest of the book's content. The author was a tank commander of high distinction, which might explain at least his hopes for the technological breakthrough of delivering fuel to motorized units in the front line--via "giant fuel missiles". Evidently these enormous missiles (the width of a tank) and filled with fuel is somehow launched and the projectiles fall gently enough to stand precariously on their own with the top 5% of the length buried a slight bit but somehow enough to support the weight of the missile and the contents. Remarkable.
There's nothing that shouts "WRONG" with greater voice than images like this. Like pornography and art, things that are just plain wrong are instantly recognizable, and this is a fine example of that thinking. Anti-Gas Protective Helmet for Babies, Manual of Instructions was prepared for the Office of the Director of Civil Air Raid Precautions of Ottawa, Canada, and published in 1943. I'm not sure that the image of the nurse in the gas mask isn't as disturbing, but the two of them together is just too much.
I wasn't aware of the gas attack preparations in Canada--the situation was entirely different in Britain, where everyone was required to own a gas mask, and by 1940 more than 38 million had been distributed to the population. But the planning was underway in Ottawa in '43 for the worst, as removed and distant from the war as just about any other place on earth--but the Air Raid Precautions people pulled no punches in their hearts and minds campaign, and I'm sure that it was very effective. This little pamphlet certainly caught my attention.
And it wasn't as though the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, and Germany weren't doing anything about poison/nerve gas during WWII--they were. There was very little use of CW during the war, though the Japanese military did use it relatively widely against Chinese troop,s guerrillas and civilian populations during several years in the war between Japan and China leading up to the outbreak of WWII. There were large stockpiles of CW in the U.S, Great Britain, and Germany, though the weapons were allocated for last-ditch doomsday operations should the opposing side start using them first.
The U.S. was just beyond its first year in the combat part of WWII when this infographic was made and published in The Nation on January 2, 1943, and no doubt that it was of some considerable interest to portray the Nazi war machine with a little more alacrity. 1942 was a tough year in the history of the war, and the Nazi army was looking large and gray and tough-to-beat. The editors of The Nation sought to put a little more perspective in the viewing of the Wehrmacht in an attempt to show the actual fighting force size. It is an interesting result, though the display itself is actually somewhat intimidating, with the message a little lost in the shadow of the strong banner:
The Negro Soldier was a film produced by Frank Capra1 for the U.S. Army as part of a recruitment effort for African American soldiers--in addition to the being a small appeasement to the nearly 880,000 who were already serving in 1943. It was also used as an orientation film, and was required viewing by all servicemen. It was a tricky business for the time, given the racist policies in place, the de facto segregation2, and the unfortunately high incidence of racist feeling among U.S. servicemen.
The armed services needed men. The Army had a similar problem in 1918, though there seems to have been little effort to learn its lessons with segregation and appeasement. In World War I there were over 400,000 Black soldiers, half of them in France, but fewer than 40,000 of them actually saw combat duty, the rest being left to construction/upkeep and menial tasks, an army of 760,000 trained men being kept from participation because of racial practices. The Negro Soldier was certainly a partial response to this issue and an appeal to social tolerance and an incorporation of the Black soldier into a unified fighting force.
It was a difficult time for African Americans in films--not to mention in real life-- where the vast majority of portrayals of Black people in cinema was a caricature, indecent. This film has none of the trappings of a contemporary movie about Black people, and was received with high acclaim by Langston Hughes among many others. Although the film portrayed Black people in honorable professions and with respect and dignity, it was also a propaganda film for domestic consumption, and showed a fractured history of African American contributions in quick run-throughs of U.S. history, while also failing to mention things like slavery, breezing through the Civil War in about 20 seconds. Again, that's not what the film was intended to address--it really was supposed to be a "leveler" of sorts, evening the mountainous arena of race relations, attempting to portray the sameness of the races in the fight against Germany. On the other hand I can help but think about the difference between what was shown in the film and what was happening in real life, and expect men to go and fight for a principle that for them mostly existed in theory.
It is interesting to see this movie still of a minister (the screenwriter Moss) preaching by using quotes from Mein Kampf; he spells out exactly what is there by Hitler concerning Black people, and it is very bad stuff, calling them half-apes and criminal that they should be allowed to have any position of responsibility....and that the Nazi goal was world domination.
So although a flawed product it was much better than the average fare, not that there was anything to compare it to for the recruitment of Black troops, because (I believe) there weren't any others. In spite of the obvious lack of historical context top place the African American in some sort of context in the history of the U.S., this was probably a very good film, and evidently fulfilled its mission.
Here's another interesting propaganda film, the story of a Black farmer in Georgia. Henry Browne, Farmer was made on what seems to be a pretty low budget in 1942, and presents the ideas of the soldier, the soldier of production, and the soldier of the soil, of which Mr. Browne was the later. The film is sympathetic, though Browne and his family are living pretty close-to-the-cuff, plowing with mule teams, taking their mule-driven wagon into a town (Macon?) highly populated with cars. Of high dignity, the Brownes are fairly poor, in spite of having a fine-looking 40 acres. On their wagon trip to town they visit their son, who is a pilot with the 99th Pursuit Squadron, and we watch them as they watch their son climb into a T6 and take off. I liked that part quite a bit.
1. The screenplay was written by Carlton Moss--who also plays the Black preacher--and directed by Stuart Hiesler.
2. The U.S. Navy would officially end segregation in February 1946; the Army followed with Executive Order 9981 in July 1948.
The cover art of this semi-pacifist pamphlet may well be the most interesting part of the work, so far as I can tell. Mr. Brown didn't so much write a manifesto about arms merchants and war as collect some bits of news on index cards and then type them up (in no particular order) and publish them, adding bold to more than a third of the text and CAPS for the important stuff. It seems as though this 8th (actually, "Eight Edition" as it says on the cover in a variety of naming editions that I have never seen before) edition was published during the war (a 10th coming in 1946), and I'd say a small fraction of the writing centers on WWII. In any event a lot of it reads like Outsider History, and I can't spend much time on it--particularly when he drives a stake into Brits for praying for Spitfires, which would not have been a terribly popular insight in 1944.
So, I'm posting this as an example of striking and effective cover art, and that's it.
Other works by Brown have the same flavor--they also indicate a very busy writer, perhaps, except that these are all short pamphlets of a few dozen pages. Of course decades of work could go into them, but I think not. In any event, here is a sample; Hitlerism in the Highlands, 1948; Stepmother Britain, 1948; Scotland-Nation Or Desert? Second Edition 1948; War for Freedom Or Finance? 1941; Scotland, this Wealthy-and Poor-Country , 1948. Many went into numerous editions with about the same pagination--my guess is that there were small press runs, with bits and pieces added every now and then.
Oliver Brown shares the same name as the Brown v Board of Education Oliver Brown, but they are not the same person.
This is a small addition to one of two larger entries on propaganda leaflets, here.
"Baptism of Fire", Men of the 710 Inf Div" and on the reverse, "Useful Suggestions", ("Feuertaufe Männer der 710. I. D.! / Wertvolle Ratschlaege"). This is a single-sheet (printed on both sides) English transaltion of a leaflet dropped on German soldiers in Norway in 1944/5, made P.W.B/A.F.H.Q. 8th Army.
"The 710th Infantry Division (German: 710. Infanteriedivision) was a German Army infantry division in World War II. Formed in May 1941, it served spent the majority of the war in occupation duties in Scandinaviabefore being transferred to the Italian Front in late 1944. It participated in fighting against the Russians in Hungary before it withdrew into Austria and surrendered to the Americans in May 1945."--Wiki
There is a small collection of WWII propaganda here, mostly Allied-based surrender leaflets and battlefront newspapers. One that I am trying to identify is something simply called "Volksstimme" ("voice of the people") a very home-made-looking production published in 1944 and which has the feel of being Soviet-produced for German soldiers but which is also extremely anti-Semitic. As an offshoot of looking for "Volksstimme-ery" things ("Volksstimme" not being a very small handle for a very wide search) I came across a website for the German National Library's World War I collection, and in one section it displayed this extraordinary postcard:
The German POWs (here based in India) were allowed very limited contact with anyone who had somehow found and written to them. The instructions were explicit and took up almost as much space on the postcard as the allowed response. And the response was limited to the POW being well or in hospital, or the status of letters received or not. It was all attested by an administrative signature, and signed and dated. And that was it.
But, it was at least something.
"Ahmednagar, a city and fort in India, was the site of one of Great Britain's prisoner of war camps during World War I. This camp held both prisoners of war and German and Austrian civilians from 1914 and 1918. In contrast, German officers were first sent to Tabora and later usually conveyed to a transitional camp inEgypt or India. The biggest camp was located in Ahmednagar, India, and could accommodate more than 2,000 German prisoners. According to reports from the Red Cross, there were few reasons for complaint. The food was plentiful and housing was acceptable. There were even tennis courts,soccer fields, and billiard tables for the amusement of officers..."--Source
"Postcard from a British prisoner-of-war camp in India to Gustav Wahl, the Director of the Deutsche Bücherei in Leipzig, 1918"--German National Library, First World War Collection
[Source: here (http://erster-weltkrieg.dnb.de/WKI/Content/EN/Topics/Kriegsalltag/alltag-kriegsgefangenschaft-en.html)]