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German Propaganda Archive Calvin College

 

Background: Particularly until May 1943, German U-boats were a major thread to the Allied war effort. The theme was popular with Nazi caricaturists during the first five months of 1943 since the war news elsewhere was highly unpleasant. The theme diminished greatly after May 1943 (in that month the Germans lost 25% of their U-boats) as British and American countermeasures made submarine warfare far less effective.

The source: Taken from my own collection or from the University of Heidelberg’s on-line collections. Theirs are available under a Creative Commons License.


Nazi Caricatures on U-Boats


Nazzi U-boat caricature

Caption: “The Achilles Heel.”

Churchill says: “...and always in the same place!”

Source: Lustige Blatter, #1/1942. My collection.

Nazi caricature on submarines

Caption: “Ladies and Gentlemen, you have the opportunity in our fine hotel to participate in the war without any danger. The first attraction: the sinking of a tanker!”

The United States was entirely unprepared to deal with German submarines off the East Coast in the spring of 1942. German submariners later spoke of the period as the “happy time.” Submarines could lurk just off the coast and pick off passing ships against the lights of New York City.

Source: Kladderadatsch, #20/1942. Heidelberg collection.

Nazi caricature

Caption: “The U-boat handcuffs. His hands are tied!.”

FDR is helpless. Joseph Nyary, the artist, was a frequent contributor to Lustige Blätter. He remained a political cartoonist in Germany until his death in 1973.

Source: Lustige Blätter, #23/1942. My collection.

Nazi caricature

Caption: “The ruler of the sea floor.”

Neptune says: “From our point of view it seems as if the Americans control the seas more than the British.” This cartoon might also have been attractive to Germans since it showed luxuries such as coffee being sunk, things that were in very short supply in Germany.

Source: Lustige Blätter, #25/1942. My collection.

Nazi caricature

Caption: “The convoy.”

The British Empire is being carried to its grave, accompanied by FDR, Eleanor Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, and three sunken ships, victims of U-boats.

Source: Kladderadatsch, #31/1942. My collection.

Nazi caricature

Caption: “The Atlantic ship graveyard.”

Churchill says to FDR: “Hey, Franklin, it was high time you gave me a hand... I haven't been able to feed it enough lately.”

Source: Lustige Blätter, #31/1942. My collection.

Uncle Sam’s shipping teeth are being yanked out.

Source: Lustige Blätter, #33/1942. My collection.

U-boat cartoon

Caption: “The tonnage problem.”

Oil is running out as fast as Churchill’s horse can suck it up.

Source: Kladderadatsch, #37/1942. Heidelberg collection.

U-boat cartoon

Caption: “The outsider.”

“Torpedo or airplane bomb?”

“Neither ... a storm!”

Source: Lustige Blätter, #5/1943. My collection.

U-boat cartoon

Caption: “I don’t believe, Roosevelt, that we will hold out longer than the German U-boats.”

 

Source: Fliegende Blätter, #13/1943. My collection.

U-boat cartoon

Caption: “Neptune to Mars: ‘You’re ruining my ocean! It tastes of iron and petroleum instead of salt!’”

 

Source: Fliegende Blätter, #15/1943. My collection.

U-boat cartoon
Caption: “Damn, there are more and more of them!”

Source: Lustige Blätter, #15/1943. My collection.

U-boat cartoon
Mars, God of war, finds that U-boats are weightier than Uncle Sam and John Bull.

Source: Lustige Blätter, #18/1943. My collection.

U-boat cartoon

Caption: “The German magnet.”

Few cartoons on the U-boat theme appeared after May 1943, as the news was increasingly unpleasant.

Source: Lustige Blätter, #19/1943. My collection.

 

[Page copyright © 2015 by Randall L. Bytwerk. No unauthorized reproduction. My e-mail address is available on the FAQ page.]


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