The Somme Punch

Image‘The Somme Punch’ is a British made cartoon in 1916. We can tell that it is a British cartoon as the hand, with the bold words ‘BRITISH ARMY’, is punching a Kaiser’s nose, which is indicating the Somme. The British had thought they were definitely going beat the German’s and win the battle. The cartoonist had entitled this as TheSomme “Punch” because it represented the British punching Germany at the Somme so their first line of defense would fall.

The significance of the Kaiser’s nose representing the Somme is that by punching the nose generally causes one’s guard to fall and Britain wanted this to suggest Germany losing their guard and having their front line ofdefense fall as they get “punched”. This cartoon was drawn before the offensive because Britain had initially thought they would beat Germany, but the outcome proved that wrong. Britain did not win the battle, but instead lost thousands of their men during the fight and were the one’s to be “punched”. The British were not capable reaching the German trenched let alone destroy the barbed wire protecting the Germans.

The cartoonist’s motive for drawing this image was to lift the spirits of the British people and make them feel a sense of hope. However, because the people of Britain had high hopes, when it had come to the actual battle and the number or dead soldiers were announced, it had caused a huge let down and upsetting feel throughout the country.


Gallipoli Battle

The Gallipoli attack took place on 25 April to 18 December 1915 in the Gallipoli Peninsula, Turkey. It was an attack devised by Winston Churchill to take control of the Dardanelles Straits as well as force Turkey out of the war. The plan involved the Allies, who included Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand and France.

The Gallipoli campaign is considered a military failure but also a defending moment in Australian history and the creation of the iconic Australian character and identity. There were several reasons to why Gallipoli is considered a failure such as the disastrous naval plan, unsuccessful landing of the Allies, the unfamiliarity of the terrain for the Allies and the orders from the commanders.

The British and French naval plan was to sail through the Dardanelles Straits, which were controlled by the Turks. When they had followed through with their plan, it proved to be a disaster. Many British and French ships were sunk and destroyed in the process. Even though this didn’t take place on the Gallipoli Peninsula, it was part of the military failure.

Also, the ANZAC boats had planned to ‘secretly’ land on a beach, where the land was flat, on Gallipoli very early in the morning. Due to pitch darkness and the wind, their boats had drifted in different directions, bringing them closer to a cove later known as Anzac Cove. This was the very first signs of a failing plan. Just as the boats were heading towards shore, a spark from a steamboat was seen and the Turks were warned. They were up on the hills, well prepared, and begun firing down at the enemy. Many soldiers had died before even making to land. This was a large backfire in the Allies plan to secretly attack the Turks and was the beginning of the largely failed Gallipoli battle.

Moreover, the Gallipoli battle was the first for ANZAC soldiers. This made it extremely difficult for them and their commanders to go into battle. Firstly, since it was new land, they were unfamiliar with the terrain, which was a benefit for the Turks. Also, they had little training before hand and were inexperienced. This was a great disadvantage for the Alliances. It also may have prevented them from winning the battle.

Furthermore, the command given to the Allied soldiers from their commander, Sir Ian Hamilton, ordered them to “Dig, dig, dig, until you are safe.” On the other side of the battlefield, Mustafa Kemal, a Turkish commander had told his men, “I don’t order you to fight, I order you to die. In the time it takes us to die, other troops and commanders can come and take our places.” Both these orders from the military leaders had instructed their soldiers to stand their ground no matter what it takes. Though these were acts or courage and bravery, because neither side was willing to surrender, it led on to a longer battle.

Although the Gallipoli campaign was a huge failure, it was also a defining moment in Australian history and the creation of the iconic Australian character and identity. This battle had brought Australia a great achievement. They were now a huge part of world history as they were involved in a World War. Moreover, it was considered the birth of their nation. It was a proud moment for the nation as it brought them honor and recognition of their valiant soldiers. Anzac day is celebrated around Australia and New Zealand to commemorate and remember the bravery of the soldiers who fought and died in battle.

Propaganda Posters- Compare and contrast

The propaganda poster ‘Daddy, what did you do’ was a British government-made poster which was created for the purpose of recruiting men for the army. Another propaganda poster is ‘Lieb Vaterland’ which was made by the German government to persuade their country to stay strong and keep them positive. Both these poster have similarities and differences. They are mostly different in their colour, purpose and symbols.

The British poster has a flat colour scheme mostly composed of neutral tones. Shades of brown dominate the scene, whilst the green and blue offer contrast. Additional colours shown in the poster are white and yellow. The blue helps represent the purity and innocence of the girl as she asks her father about his activities.

On the other hand, in the German poster, the colours used are those that represent Germany and their enemy, the Triple Entente: France, UK and Russia. The British sailor is wearing a blue and white uniform while the French officer is in blue, red and gold. The Russian officer, though, is seen wearing a green uniform. The German man is drawn wearing a brown uniform with a rifle strapped across his back. Being the only one with a weapon, the German’s show that they have the most power. The colours are bright because it is an encouraging and supporting poster.

Morover, on the British propaganda, the symbols used are the words ‘Daddy, what did YOU do in the Great War?’ as well as the boy with the toy soldiers, the little girl reading a book on her fathers lap and the father himself. The young boy playing with the toy soldiers shows that the idea of going to war and fighting for your country was a praiseworthy action. The wordings, coming from the girl to her father, suggest that the war is already over and she wants to know her fathers involvement in the Great War. By the contemplative expression on his face, we can tell that he doesn’t know he contributed and is ashamed and feeling guilty for not doing so. The ‘YOU is written in this was because it emphasizes the fact that it is directly aiming at the men of Britain to join the army. The method used for this poster is guilt.

In contrast, the symbols used in the German propaganda poster are the saying ‘Lieb Vaterland magst ruhig sein!’ as well as the four men, each representing their own country. The German saying in English translates to: ‘Dear homeland, have no fear’. The saying was used as moral support for the nation and enhancing the notion of nationalism. The German officer is holding two men by the necks while resting his foot on another man. The man he is stepping on is a British sailor and the two men he is grabbing are French and Russian officers. The German officer is drawn much larger than the others to show that the country is in control of the situation and is more superior. Furthermore, the German officer is seen to be calm and happy, as he is blowing smoke out of a pipe while the other three men have expressions of panic and defeat.

Even though the two posters have many differences, they also share some common aspects. Although the colour schemes in the posters are different, they both are bright and eye catching, which makes it easier for audiences walking by it to understand. As well, they both have the same amount of text and imagery and are clearly interpreted. Additionally, they share the same intended audience. In the British poster, the audiences they are hoping to reach are the public. More specifically, the young men of Britain, who would not want to end up ashamed like the man in the poster, and join the army. In the German poster, the public is their intended audience as well. This poster targets a larger audience though. It is not only for the men, but also for the women and children to assure them that Germany is in control and not to be afraid.

The two posters have several differences with some similarities.