Written in Russian, in English it is entitled “From the British people Towards Victory! We are with you”, and is one of a set of posters that highlighted the collaboration by Britain and the USSR after the Russian federation had been attacked by Nazi Germany, starting what the Soviet Republics knew as the Great Patriotic War. It’s by the British poster designer Reginald Mount (1906-1979) perhaps most famous for his poster for the original Ealing comedy ‘The Ladykillers’. The other three posters feature crates of equipment, a Bedford truck, and a (Matilda II) tank – but unusually for the period, the hand, background, and text are all exactly the same. (Some sources say there are five in the set).
Wikipedia’s summary states: “The Hawker Hurricane was the first Allied Lend-Lease aircraft to be delivered to the Soviet Union with a total of 2,952 Hurricanes eventually delivered, becoming the most numerous British aircraft in Soviet service. Many Soviet pilots were disappointed by the Hawker fighter, regarding it as inferior to both German and Russian aircraft.”
The National Archives hold the original artwork, gouache on board, here and note: “In 1942 Lord Beaverbrook had returned with a collection of original Soviet posters, which were published, with English translations, in British factories and the British looked to provide posters in return.
The hand represents the British merchant navy carrying war supplies to ‘Russia’, in this instance a Hawker Hurricane. The Hawker Hurricane equipped numerous Soviet squadrons at a time when industrial production was dislocated by the German onslaught.”
It would be interesting to know what the Soviets thought of the posters – not as much as the British hoped, like the Hurricanes, probably. But more Hurricanes tomorrow!
James Kightly, Vintage Aero Writer.