Pornaganda: A Tool Used By Every Army
It's propaganda week at Cracked! Keep calm and read on.
In the spring of 1940, French soldiers were faring badly against a German invasion. They were wondering why the British (currently in France and aiding them) weren't as much of a help as they might have been. Then, from the air, came colored postcards. "Where is Tommy staying?" said the words on the card, against a scene of French soldiers dying. Hold the card to the light, and a new scene appeared, answering the question: It showed a British man having sex with a Frenchwoman.
The unfocused, weirdly angled pic above is all we're willing to show you. Because these cards got very explicit indeed, and if you want to see them, with all the bits and bobs included, you'll have to look elsewhere. You'll also have to look elsewhere to see all the German porn propaganda we don't have time to cover today, as the Germans had different kinds for different opponents and different situations.
These opponents had pornaganda of their own. Much of it echoed the message of the Tommy cards: "Your woman back home is having sex without you. Lose hope." Countries still managed variations on this same theme, though.
British pornaganda preyed on Germans' racism. The man with the German woman in these leaflets was dark-skinned and was either labeled Italian (so, "your allies are having sex with your women," like in the Tommy cards) or as a "foreign worker" (so, "your mission for purity of race has already failed").
America denies ever producing pornaganda, but historians have still discovered evidence of it. One piece aimed at Germans shows a woman in the arms of a Nazi. The caption reads, "For us at the front there is only fear and death. For the important officials at home, our women!" Another explicit collection shows German women having sex with each other or with animals in the soldiers' absence.
Did any of these campaigns actually demoralize soldiers? We have no evidence of that, but we do have many accounts of soldiers collecting and treasuring the art. They didn't care about the messages. They just liked looking at naked ladies. Maybe the Japanese campaign was wisest: Their pornaganda often had no message, instead aiming to just entertain soldiers to the point of distracting them from their duty. Some Japanese leaflets even included strategically placed holes, so enemy soldiers would interact with them in a manner that left them unprepared for immediate combat.
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