World War I posters offer unique glimpse into soldiers’ stories 100 years after the Armistice


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The armistice that got here into impact at 11 a.m. native time on Nov. 11, 1918, silenced the weapons of World Warfare I, ending one of many bloodiest conflicts in fashionable historical past.

Greater than 17 million folks, navy and civilian, misplaced their lives in World Warfare I. The U.S, which entered the warfare on April 6, 1917, misplaced greater than 116,000 service members within the battle.

The Nationwide World Warfare I Museum and Memorial in Kansas Metropolis, Missouri, is devoted to sharing the tales and honoring the historical past of the devastating battle, dubbed “the Nice Warfare.”


Jonathan Casey, director of archives within the Museum’s Edward Jones Analysis Middle, advised Fox Information that posters associated to the warfare effort can provide an interesting glimpse right into a tumultuous period that modified the course of world historical past. “Posters are among the finest historic objects to inform the story of any time interval,” he defined, noting that the Museum has round 1,200 posters in its assortment. “They’re very participating,” he added.

A World War I U.S. Army recruitment poster (National WWI Museum and Memorial)

A World Warfare I U.S. Military recruitment poster (Nationwide WWI Museum and Memorial)

Along with U.S. posters, most of that are dedicated to recruitment and warfare financing, the Museum additionally has posters from a number of different nations together with Germany, the Austro-Hungarian Empire and Russia. “Every one represents its personal tradition,” Casey mentioned.

Among the many U.S. posters, Casey highlights one specifically that depicts African-American troopers working in an Military stevedore firm within the French port of St. Nazaire. The poster, which is pictured above, is the one one within the Museum’s assortment depicting African-American troops.


Painted by a U.S. officer, the poster was printed in Nantes, France, as an obvious morale booster for troops. “There was a contest about how a lot provides could possibly be unloaded from the ships,” Casey defined. “This poster was completed in recognition of their work – it might have been an African-American firm that received this competitors.”

World War I Red Cross poster.

World Warfare I Crimson Cross poster.
(Nationwide WWI Museum and Memorial)

Measuring about 2-and-a-half toes by three toes, the poster is signed and devoted by the artist, dated Nov. 28, 1918. “This was a donation [to the Museum] from a person whose father was an officer within the warfare, within the Quartermasters’ Corps,” Casey mentioned.


One German navy poster is a specific supply of fascination. Written in Gothic-style script, the poster, pictured beneath, it advertises an uncommon occasion within the French city of Malmedy, which was occupied on the time by German forces.

The poster advertising an art exhibition in German-occupied France during the final weeks of World War I. (National WWI Museum and Memorial)

The poster promoting an artwork exhibition in German-occupied France in the course of the closing weeks of World Warfare I. (Nationwide WWI Museum and Memorial)

Created by the German Military’s Gallwitz division, the whimsical poster contains a cherubic baby, bearing a German helmet crammed with flowers. The poster promotes an artwork exhibition in October 1918, simply weeks earlier than the tip of the warfare. The division was a part of the German forces opposing the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, which was launched by U.S. forces on Sept. 26, 2018. The 46-day conflict claimed the lives of 26,277 U.S. troops and ranks because the deadliest battle in U.S. historical past.

“That one got here folded up in a photograph album from somebody whose father was a physician with U.S. forces,” Casey mentioned, including that he was stunned when he noticed the poster. “I didn’t perceive why they made a poster to promote an artwork present in the midst of this enormous warfare.”


Officers on the Kansas Metropolis website are internet hosting a variety of occasions to commemorate the 100th anniversary of World Warfare I’s finish. These embody a nightly “Peace and Remembrance” illumination of the memorial that options practically 55 million pixels and greater than 5,000 poppies. Impressed by the First World Warfare poem “In Flanders Subject,” synthetic purple poppies are worn in a variety of nations to recollect the hundreds of thousands that misplaced their lives within the battle.

A World War I promoting Liberty Bonds that were sold to support the U.S. war effort. (National WWI Museum and Memorial)

A World Warfare I selling Liberty Bonds that had been offered to help the U.S. warfare effort. (Nationwide WWI Museum and Memorial)

On Sunday, a multi-national Armistice Ceremony will honor the centennial of the World Warfare I Armistice. A ‘Bells of Peace’ tolling ceremony can even commemorate the time of the signing of the Armistice.

Fox Information’ Greg Norman contributed to this text. Comply with James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers

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