Asking For It

Today’s Poster is a German Great War example entitled ‘Was England will’, or ‘What England wants.’


It’s a powerful poster, showing swarms of British bombers – giant Handley Pages – attacking German factories. The poster is by Egon Tschirch (1889-1948) made in 1918 in Berlin for Selmar Bayer.

The background’s even more interesting. The text after the title reads: “Man muss die rheinifchen juduftiegebiete mid hundred flugzeugem tag fur tag bombardeieren bis die sur angefchlagen hat!” Remarkably it’s a quote from British Labour party leader Johnson-Hicks which appeared in the Daily Telegraph, Jan. 3, 1918: “One must bomb the Rhine industrial area day by day with hundreds of aeroplanes, until the cure [destruction of German industrial production] has occurred.”

Extra: A bit more by Rob Langham on his ‘Bloody Paralyser’ Handley Page Bomber Facebook page here, and a note about the early capture of a Handley Page and the resultant publicity that may well also have fed into the propaganda poster here.

James Kightly, Vintage Aero Writer.

As well as a copy on Wiki, here’s a link to the original in the US Library of Congress collection. Catalogue details: Reproduction Number: LC-USZC4-12309 (color film copy transparency). Rights Advisory: No known restrictions on publication. For information see “World War I Posters” ( Call Number: POS – Ger .T9, no. 1 (C size) [P&P]. Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA.

[Note: Regarding the post title, and the topic, as with other posts, I am not commenting on the justification or moral element to this artwork and the political and military approaches embedded. War is brutalising, and a lot of innocent people, as well as the less innocent, are killed and have lives wrecked, and numerous aspects of society, art and beyond are brought into use for these purposes. The reader’s use of their intelligence and understanding is appreciated.]

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