Since this month's Cinema Tuesdays theme is Second World War Musicals and I have been re-watching Foyle's War and reading a couple of war books to review, I thought that I would post some of the war posters that keep cropping up in any movie or TV show about the war. Clearly all of the posters are meant as propaganda, but they were and are still highly important to the war effort.
Victory Bonds (also known as War Bonds in America) were probably the single most important way the Allies had to finance the military operations.
A Victory Bond is a debt security issued by the government that would finance the war as well as making civilians feel that they were doing their bit to help those who were able to fight. The Bonds were also useful as a means of controlling inflation by removing excess money from circulation in return for using it as a stimulus for consumer spending after the war. Remember the huge economic boom and rise of consumer goods after WW2.
Bonds were readily available at rallies, banks, post offices and other public places, including occasionally at movie theatres and in a wide range of denominations so that everyone could afford them.
I've focused on Canadian Victory Bond posters from both wars because the was the most successful out of all of the Allied nations, given the relation between capital and population. It raised over $1.5 billion in the First World War and around half the cost of the Second World War was covered by selling Victory Bonds.
The images that were used in Canada, UK and US were clearly designed to appeal to everyone on a very basic level. Most of the posters that I looked at were obviously patriotic, but others appealed to the future and the conscience, usually involving fighting soldiers or small children. The also have large lettering and no small print since there was no need to explain what the poster was advertising for.
What do you think of them?
Would you still buy a Victory Bond?
Here's a public service film that I found starring Bette Davis: