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Friday, February 8, 2013

Recruiting posters of World War I are stirring, blunt appeals to enlist

Here are only a few of the hundreds of posters the United States government printed to encourage citizens to enlist as soldiers and Marines. Hundreds of other posters encouraged others to enlist as nurses, medical personnel, ambulance drivers, merchant marine and longshoremen. The rhetoric is a mix of appeals to patriotism and a sense of wonderment that the realities of war quickly negated.

The most well-knownAmerican recruitment poster is Uncle Sam pointing to the viewer. This "I Want You" image has been used and adapted over the past 9 decades to recruit for other wars. Adaptations even discouraged enlistment in such wars as the Vietnam conflict.  Here is the original version and its famous British counterpart and predecessor featuring General Kitchener recruiting for the British Army in 1914.
Public domain in U.S. Archives

Public domain in UK, EU and U.S.
After U.S. Marines won the battle of Belleau Wood, their German opponents nicknamed them Devil Dogs, Teufel Hunden. To this day, the U.S. Marines use this name and their museum in Belleau Wood, France bears the title.

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