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Anti-British propaganda poster showing Churchill’s tentacles cut out of Africa and the Middle East

Object | Accession Number: 1998.136.3

Propaganda poster in French showing German global victories against the British Empire. The poster depicts Winston Churchill’s caricatured, disembodied head with 12 tentacles, several bloody and truncated, reaching out over Africa and the Middle East, and extending past the border toward America and Asia. On September 1, 1939, Germany invaded Poland. In response, Britain and France declared war on Germany two days later. On June 22, 1940, France signed an armistice agreement by which the Germans would occupy the northern half of France. After the armistice and occupation, German authorities began releasing propaganda to fuel the resentment many French people held towards the British. The bloody tentacles represent Britain’s military failures against Germany. In Norway, a combined French and British force failed to stop the German invasion and in Germany, where British armies were forced out of continental Europe. In Mers El Kebir, Algeria, the British navy attacked a neutral French fleet killing nearly 1,300 sailors and in Dakar, a combined British and Free French force failed to take the colonial outpost. In Libya-Egypt, the British were forced to withdraw and were besieged at Tobruk in Somalia, where the British Protectorate was taken by the Italians and Syria, and German forces briefly took control of the region.

Artwork Title
Alternate Title
Confidence …
publication:  approximately 1942
depiction: Great Britain
depiction: Middle East
depiction: Africa
distribution: France
War propaganda
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
Record last modified: 2021-02-10 08:58:26
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