Skip to main content
Shopping cart: items Cart

Distributed for Imperial War Museums

British Posters of the Second World War

“Keep calm and carry on.” In 1939, Britain’s Ministry of Information produced this now-ubiquitous reminder to its citizens in the event of widely predicted air attacks. But in the six consecutive years before Germany’s surrender to Allied forces, the British public would feel keenly both the physical and moral hardships of war. To boost morale and raise awareness of how citizens’ efforts might help—or hinder—the wartime effort, one of the most effective forms the British government had at its disposal was the poster.
British Posters of the Second World War presents one hundred posters from this important period in world history. Some proclaimed in bold type that “Victory of the Allies is assured” and featured stalwart British soldiers alongside exaggerated enemy figures. Others, however, hung on the walls of bus and railway stations, town halls, and pubs, called for continued self-sufficiency, urging Britons to raise chickens and join “pig clubs.” As the threat of espionage came to be regarded as ever-present, another category of posters cautioned soldiers and civilians alike against talking about the war: “Furtive Fritz is always listening” warned one; another, “Keep mum—she’s not so dumb.”
Drawing on the Imperial War Museum’s impressive collection of materials related to conflicts involving Britain in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, British Posters of the Second World War explores these campaigns and many others with an introduction and explanatory text by the museum’s senior curator, Richard Slocombe.

90 pages | 100 color plates | 7 x 8 1/2 | © 2012

Art: British Art

History: Military History

View all books from Unicorn Publishing Group

Table of Contents


1. Insipid Invocations

Britain’s Early Wartime Posters

2. Cheer Us Up a Bit

New Attitudes and Approaches in Propaganda

Biography of Hans Schleger (Zéró)

3. Safety First

Poster of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents

Biography of Tom Eckersley

4. They Also Serve

The Wartime Posters of the London Underground

5. The Kitchen Front

Food Rationing and Production in Wartime Britain

Biography of Abram Games

6. Advertising Austerity

Posters of Wartime Economy

7. Strange Bed Fellows

Propoganda of the Anglo-Soviet Alliance

Biography of FHK Henrion

8. Think Ahead

The Posters of the General Post Office

Biography of Lewitt-Him

9. The Health of the Nation

Britain’s Wartime Public Health Campaigns

Biography of Donia Nachshen

10. Worth Fighting For?

Churchill, Controversy and Censorship

11. Visions of a New Jerusalem

Posters of the Post-War

Be the first to know

Get the latest updates on new releases, special offers, and media highlights when you subscribe to our email lists!

Sign up here for updates about the Press