Thursday, August 2, 2007

A knuckle sandwich for the Kaiser

It's the summer of 1914, with hostilities declared, Britain had a problem. Hardly anyone was in its army, yet it was in a World War, which they didn’t even have the foresight to call World War I.

What they needed was some way to get hooligans out of the pubs and into the killing fields. Many did not seem keen on the idea. So how?

Poster #1, to the right, is a good one and has become iconic in the years hence. The look on the guy's face as his ungrateful daughter questions his manliness is priceless.

"You want to know what I did in the Great War? Your mother, that's what. Now go be seen and not heard, ye mouthy whippersnap"

But still, you feel guilty with a poster like this, so poster #1 is effective recruitment. Makes you want to sign up for WWI, like right away! Just hope it's not too late.

Poster #2 is bad propaganda. The source for it's call to arms comes from an ugly place. Demonizing the enemy as baby-bayonetting business men just seems like a cheap shot. It's simply not good business practice to bayonet babies, margins are already paper thin and bayonet maintenance makes it hardly worth the trouble.

Poster #2 must've seemed ham-handed even back then. If I were a hooligan reading this, I'd stay saddled up to the bar to hit on some lonely war widows. It worked out pretty well for that guy in poster #1.

(link via

Update: Even more awesome posters

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