See Clearly

Today’s poster and photograph seems clear enough wartime recruitment propaganda, but there’s a bit more to them than meets the eye. Here a woman factory worker is fitting a mount to a clear acrylic dome structure. It’s a nose cone for an American bomber, in this case a Douglas built Boeing B-17F and her head…

Japanese Wing

Today’s Poster is a very strong graphic image from Japan. As yet untranslated [but see below], the text is a mystery to me, but the message of Japanese imperial dominance of the air is clear. An echo of the background, chosen for the match, in the Japanese ‘Hinomaru’ or rising sun wing marking. The central…

Bigger Bombs, Yet

It was vital to the British war effort mid war to be able to show how Britain – primarily through Bomber Command – was hitting back at Germany, in return for the very evident damaged being done to the UK. Graphic bombs was one answer, but only in a peculiarly limited way. Here the illustrated…

Sussex’s Sonia Imprint

Today a strange story. Firstly a bizarre imprint ‘artwork’ created in a violent accident. Then a design process by my friend and colleague, professional artist Ronne Olsthoorn, to explain the imprint. On 26 July 1945, the British cruiser HMS Sussex was attacked by two Japanese bomber aircraft acting as kamikaze suicide weapons. One bounced off…

Bombers, Symbols, Stamps

Today we look at two aspects of the early wartime home front propaganda of total war from the USA. The poster features the trope of a threat from the air represented by a shadow over children. This one is unusual in that the shadow isn’t an aircraft, as explored by Dr Brett Holman with his…

Dare to Rare

Today we dive right into the pulp. Sticking strictly to the ‘Dare-Devil Aces’ magazine of the inter to World War Two period, we still have more than enough awesome to play with. Starting with the Japanese ATTACK on New York, being defended by the US Navy (fair enough) but also a handsome assist by the…

AI – A?

Fifty years ago on the 15th September, 1969, the ‘Battle of Britain’ film was released. A painstaking effort at telling the story of the 1940 Battle, as well as an all-star cast, a huge fleet of aircraft was assembled for the real aerial cinematography. Though the film was not a success at the box office,…

Wemendum

Today’s posters follow yesterday’s poster about building the aircraft – here it’s about missing parts. Delays in manufacture were a major issue during the Second World War, and while a huge number of aircraft (among other weapons and equipment) were recycled, there were delays and issues there too. So here we have two Allied powers…

Splitting the Bomber

Today’s Poster. It’s a classic example of what’s known as an ‘exploded diagram’ where all the parts are arrayed at a small distance as though caught in a frozen moment of explosion. Ironic here, as the aircraft in question is a bomber, the Boeing B-29 Superfortress. This is from the Smithonian’s collection, entitled ‘You help…

Hell Dogs Over England

In the current (September 2019) issue of Aeroplane Monthly, here, artist Ian Bott and I have out latest ‘Briefing File’ feature on the defences against the V-1 bomb in 1944. While researching the history, it became evident that the comfort of hindsight has stripped away the fact that at the time, no-one really knew what…