Sunday, May 18, 2014

Drawing of the Day: Loose Talk Can Cost Lives, 1942

Falter, 1942
The Victoria & Albert Museum

American and British servicemen faced a common problem during the Second World War—“good time girls.” These vixens in their seductive sweaters with their flowing hair, red fingernails, painted lips and flashy baubles were thought to be on the prowl to snare innocent men and shake them down for military secrets.

To be sure, there were a variety of female spies who did, in fact, seduce servicemen into sharing confidential information. However, most of these girls were more interested in making some money than they were in selling intelligence to the Nazis. Nevertheless, men were warned to keep their mouths closed and not get trapped by these “good time girls.” Many a propaganda poster warned against them. Here’s one.

This one was printed in America and depicts such a temptress. She’s the picture of seduction, in fact. She’s even taller and stronger than the soldier who has fallen into her embrace. She’s got him and she aims to corrupt him, and, then go straight to Hitler with whom she’ll laugh while tossing her blonde curls over her broad shoulders.

The poster warns is “Sailor beware.” Still, we can’t be quite sure if he’s pushing her away or returning her so-called “affection.”

The point was…this could be you. Well, not me. But, maybe one of the rest of you. An inscription in black on pale blue at the bottom states: “Loose Talk Can Cost Lives.” Well, we can’t argue that. 

The poster was designed in 1942 by John Falter (1910-1982) for the British and American Ambulance Corps.

No comments: