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The Cartoon in Wartime Propaganda

Recruitment Posters

British recruiting poster: 'Daddy, What did you do in the Great War?'British recruiting poster: 'Daddy, What did you do in the Great War?'Mass warfare during the twentieth century required the development of sophisticated recruitment campaigns to attract sufficient manpower.

British recruitment posters used the Secretary of State for War, Lord Kitchener, quite literally as a recruiting sergeant, while Savile Lumley's iconic 'Daddy, What did you do in the Great War?' tugged at the guilty heartstrings of reluctant recruits.

Alleged German atrocities during World War OneAlleged German atrocities during World War OneOther posters warned young men not to miss out on the comradeship and adventure of war and to do their duty by signing up.

Other posters, showing drawings of Zeppelin raids over British cities, urged recruits that the safest way to protect women and children at home was to fight the enemy abroad. Moral pressure was exerted on potential recruits with reports of alleged German atrocities in Belgium, in particular stories of German soldiers bayoneting babies in Belgium or the crucifixion of Canadian soldiers.

Real incidents such as the sinking in 1915 of the passenger liner, Lusitania, by a German U-boat, were exploited to maximum effect.

A wide selection of recruiting and war effort support posters kept in the Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives can be viewed online at World War One posters available via the Serving Solder website.

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