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Monday, 30 May 2011

What Is Not Revealed

During WWI, the government appealed to men to enlist in the armies. Many types of propaganda were used to by the government to encourage warfare by glorifying it and concealing the hardships faced in the real battlefield.
Many posters presented a distorted image of war, making the soldiers in the pictures seem as though they were the proudest men of the country, and making the conditions seem superior.
In actual fact, this was not true. Most men suffered painful deaths and those who survived had experienced horrific injuries. The living conditions were also substandard, many soldiers having to trudge through metres of mud to get someplace.
The government also used propaganda to promote fear and hatred of the Germans. They did this by portraying unrealistic pictures of German soldiers threatening to kill.
This poster depicts the Germans as a blood hungry skeleton that brutally takes lives of men and drinks their blood. The Germans did not in fact want this, all they wanted was extra land and resources for their country.
The poster above shows a proud soldier fighting for his country, confident and healthy. But in actual fact the soldiers suffered physically from horrendous wounds, and also experienced emotional traumas that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Techniques used in WWI Propaganda

The above video shows different examples of posters used by Britain and France in World War one.

Propaganda is ideas, information or rumours spread to influence people to believe or act a certain way. Propaganda posters in WWI used many techniques to influence men by appealing to their emotions of persuasion, fear, guilt, confrontation and accusation and were designed to be advertising and appealing.
These strategies included:
  • Emphasizing on the means of patriotism, making men feel like they should be proud to protect their country with their own strength;
  • Creating an exaggeration of hatred and fear towards the Germans;
  • Making those who were not enlisting feel cowardly;
  • Emphasizing the sense of masculinity and bravery in the armies;
  • And glorifying army life, making the men feel as though recruiting was a great adventure all should embark on.
Because the government was very clever in the ways they presented the war, many men enlisted in the army, until later on, when the truth of war hardship was uncovered.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Reasons for Propaganda

(In first person)
Today I finally returned from fighting in the Great War to my village, glad to see my wife and daughter. They were very relieved that I had only been slightly injured and had returned safely. I am very happy to be with them again.
Earlier, I went outside to greet my neighbours, expecting a warm welcome back with homemade fruitcake near the fireplace, like the old days, only to see tightly packed luggage in the room and worried expressions on their faces “Aye, all welcome to you, fellow. The mates are departing anytime now, hope they be as lucky as you are.”
Eight months ago, I remember, I was one of them. I was feeling excited, as well as anxious. The posters floating around the village and the radio ads that were blaring through the speakers made me feel so proud being able to protect the country, but at the same time I was wary that something might go wrong.
I walked around the village, and I noticed that the posters had changed from before I left. Before, the posters were all saying that war was a good cause to fight for, and that protecting the country was something to be proud of. But now, the posters are encouraging or protesting against support for conscription instead because people aren’t willing to go to war anymore.
I guess the excitement of war is finally dying down.
An example of recruitment propaganda

An example of conscription propaganda

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Types of Propaganda in World War One

Propaganda in World War One encouraged men to join the military and adjust their morals and priorities to adapt to the needs of war and satisfy the government.
The government mainly advertised on posters but radio and television messages also circulated. The two main types of propaganda were recruitment propaganda and conscription propaganda.
WWI propaganda peaked during 1915 to 1916; capable of recruiting hundreds of thousands of men each year. Recruitment propaganda was successful as it amplified the original reasons for Australia to participate in WW1; and was strong enough to change the minds of those who didn't want to enlist.
By 1917, recruitment propaganda's strength had declined, as those who had experienced the devastating condition of war didn't wish to go back. With volunteer numbers decreasing rapidly, the Australian government introduced conscription propaganda. Similar to recruitment propaganda, conscription propaganda influenced men on their sense of fear, guilt, patriotism and also hatred towards the Germans. It caused great controversy within Australia, as the country had mixed opinions about whether or not conscription was beneficial.
Among the ones who returned from the war, there were patriots that strongly supported conscription because they knew the hardship on the battlefields and thought it necessary for all Australian men to contribute to the protection of the country. Contrastingly, others who suffered said that nobody should be forced to endure such difficulty.
Regardless of people’s opinions towards propaganda for recruitment and conscription, the technique had a very effective influence on Australian during WWI.

Monday, 9 May 2011

The Beginning

World War One was the worst war of its time. From 1914 to 1919 many people lost their lives for their countries.
Before this happened, in 1871, Germany invaded France for a proportion of land. Scared of a counter attack, Germany formed the Triple Alliance with Austria-Hungary and Italy. In response, France formed the Triple Entente with Britain and Russia.
The tension these two groups caused in Europe resulted in an arms race. Conscription was put in place by many of these countries and the number of soldiers rose dramatically before the first war.
The official trigger event of WWI was when Duke Franz Ferdinand, the heir to Austria-Hungary, and his wife were assassinated by a member of Serbia’s ‘Black Hand’ group. This resulted in Austria declaring war on Serbia. However, the tension was already very high in Europe in the 1910’s and many felt that this trigger event was just an excuse for war.
After Austria declared war, Germany backed them and a lot of countries sent out ultimatums to each other, resulting in Russia, Great Britain and France declaring war on Germany and Germany declaring war on Russia and France.
The bloodshed was massive, many women and children were left widowed and fatherless. It was a terrible time for all.