How Was Propaganda Used in WWII?

Leaders of nations engaged in World War II boosted feelings of patriotism and confidence among citizens through various forms of propaganda. Although fighting on opposite sides, leaders of Allied nations and Axis powers drew citizens into a fighting spirit with propaganda. They crafted short, focused messages using multiple forms of communication, including radio and television.

Propaganda appeared primarily in the United States, Great Britain and Germany during World War II. Propaganda helped countries keep citizens' attention on war efforts. While soldiers fought in front lines overseas, citizens at home acted much like supportive and participatory audience members. They produced goods and services vital to supporting men engaged in combat. Boosting the national psyche by rallying citizens inspired leaders and soldiers, in turn supporting victories.

In the United States, the Office of War Information, or OWI, introduced propaganda in 1941. The OWI disseminated war information through cartoons, movies and television shows. It produced photographs from the war, too, ultimately gaining Americans' support for defeating Axis powers.

While propaganda blended with America's social life, war materials consumed German society. Germany disseminated propaganda through books, movies, films and media. It took war promotion to extremes by banning non war-related messages from all types of popular public communication mediums.