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Propaganda: Home Front

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"Colonel Shultz" Artist unknown, 1939-1945. Gouache on board.

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Colonel Shultz

"Colonel Shultz" Artist unknown, 1939-1945

Catalogue ref: INF 3/267Links to the Catalogue


A Careless talk poster, illustrated by a uniformed German Intelligence Officer, (Colonel Shultz) depicted as a typical masochistic Nazi officer, his eyes shaded. The accompanying text is a message to British troops encouraging them to give military details to friends, assuring them that German Intelligence would hear.

Technology had changed the way wars were fought, with the importance of communications more evident in the Second World War than in any previous war. Rather than risk stealing documents, it was often safer and more profitable for the spy to keep his ears and eyes open. Fragments of information could be collated quickly into a meaningful whole: Troop and ship movements, the position of power stations and munitions plants, the state of public morale … plenty of data useful to the enemy could be pieced together from a few scraps of gossip, innocent in themselves but fatal in bulk.