Thursday, 18 April 2013

Propaganda Observations

While browsing WWII propaganda made by the allies I came across these three pieces. I find them interesting because both demonstrate confidence in the allies' powerful united force, but Canada is not really recognized as a heavy hitter in them. This was strange because after our unit on Canada's development of independence during WWI, we had come to the conclusion that our nation had made itself a name as a strong fighting force and a recognized country on the global stage. We certainly contributed to the second World War, having over 700'000 men enlist during the war over 40'000 being casualties and over 8'000 being POWs. Was power a greater cause for recognition than dedication was? I believe that it is concerning the image of the allied forces because the main powers featured in these posters are Russia, Britain and The United States. This is made evident by the largest, or foremost cannons in the first poster (right) being these nations, as well as the only three forces defeating Hitler (below) being these nations as well. Perhaps Canada was still being recognized nationally as a tag-a-long of Britain's, as suggested by the third piece of propaganda I found (bottom right). Britain is described as a mighty lion (shown by the cigar representing Churchill's leadership and the royal crown), whereas Canada is shown as a beaver, much smaller in size and far less menacing. It also wears a helmet and wields a sword showing its fighting capabilities, but wears a sash to display its identity which again leads me to believe that our identity wasn't as clear in WWII than we had hoped. These pieces of propaganda leave me questioning Canada's success in developing their identity after WWI.

Images from: Hitler Cannons Beaver


  1. Josh, you made very valid observations about the propaganda with a strong connection to World War I. You bring up a great point about the role of World War I in allowing us to forge our identity. Did Canada truly develop an independent identity? Do we consider our role to be more significant than it truly was? Does it matter?

    1. Firstly, I believe that during World War 1 Canada did make an independent identity for itself, regardless of whether or not other countries recognize it. Canada showed itself what it was capable of, and discovered its strength in war as well as unity amongst itself. Next, any help in an effort towards a common goal is appreciated and matters, whether or not it is recognized by others. Lastly our efforts matter because even though we weren't as credited in the war effort as we'd like to have been, the way that we still hold on to the identity we forged then, and teach/learn it today shows that we are proud of our work and it matters to us.