Was england will![What England Wants!]

Accession Number ARTV05099
Collection type Art
Measurement sheet: 98 X 68.6 cm
Object type Poster
Physical description lithograph printed in colour
Maker Tschirch, Egon
Selmar Bayer, Berlin
Place made Germany: Berlin
Date made 1918
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918

Item copyright: Copyright expired - public domain

Public Domain Mark This item is in the Public Domain


Issued by the Department of Pictorial Propaganda in Berlin this poster urges German citizens to maintain their morale and support for the war effort in the face of planned British bombing raids to destroy German industrial production. The vibrant and striking image depicts swarms of British aircraft bombing an industrial site to illustrate the following quote, by British Labour Leader Johnston Hicks, which appeared in the 'Daily Telegraph' on January 3rd 1918: 'One must bomb the Rhineland industrial regions with one hundred aircraft day after day, until the treatment has had its effect!’ The aircraft depicted are Handley Page Type Os. The Type O was an extremely successful Allied aircraft such that for years after the war, any large aircraft seen in Britian was referred to as a Handley Page - even receiving such an entry in the dictionary. Type Os were used in night attached on German-occupied France and Belgium, as well as targets in the Rhineland and even in some anti-submarine warfar in the Tees Estuary and the Mediterranean. The poster depicts one such raid on the Rhineland.

Egon Tschirch (1889-1948) was a German painter. Before the war he studied at the Berlin Art Academy and worked as an art teacher. In 1914 Tschirch traveled to Tunisia. These trips influenced his works, and relatively early on he decided to commit to being a painter. He fought and was wounded as a soldier during the First World War and from 1916 until the end of the war worked for the Imperial Army Press Office in Berlin. This is one of a several poster designs Tschirch produced for a an atrocity propaganda campaign which conveyed the message 'What the Enemy Wants..'. This campaign aimed to win greater support for the war by instilling fear in German citizens.