King's College London
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The Cartoon in Wartime Propaganda


Japanese-Mexican banditJapanese-Mexican banditPamphlets, booklets, newspapers and comics were another common means of spreading positive and negative propaganda.

During World War Two, Britain's Political Warfare Executive and Ministry of Information deployed humour to ridicule Axis leaders and, increasingly, to exploit the Allies' growing superiority in war materiel to stress the inevitability of an Allied victory - in so doing undermining enemy morale and boosting the morale of domestic audiences.

Propaganda cartoon 'Tony of the RAF'Propaganda cartoon 'Tony of the RAF'Caricature of Hermann Goering, Head of the LuftwaffeCaricature of Hermann Goering, Head of the LuftwaffePatriotic cartoon books such as 'Britain's Royal Air Force' described the work of the RAF and other services, depicting dramatic dogfights and re-enacting famous battles.

These were often translated to help explain and justify Britain's war to foreign audiences. On a lighter note, Sam Fair's 'Addie and Hermy' cartoon strip in the Dandy comic turned Hitler and Mussolini into bumbling figures of fun.

Newspapers played an important role in propaganda by reaching audiences of millions, not least through the cartoons of artists such as David Low of the Evening Standard, who had depicted the dictators in an unflattering light in cartoons throughout the 1930s.

These evidently hit home as Hitler himself was reported to have been furious at his depiction by the artist.

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