Sunday, May 10, 2009

Britain Delivers The Goods - WWII Patriotic Cards


The great war had started. Factories in Britain and its allies had started smoking out fear and building confidence by producing all kinds of goods required to sustain in war. To keep the momentum going, British ships started carrying the raw materials from Asia and Africa to factories in Britain and other allies places and then ship the manufactured goods to all the allies post. Ships were (perhaps) the most viable option for transportation at that time.

It was then U-boats, who started intercepting and sinking the ships created a much fear in British Empire that the ships has to be protected by British Navy to ensure safety. British navy slowly started engaging German navy and U-Boats to protect ships. The navy warships formed a convoy under whose protection most of ships used to transport goods from one destination to another. Even then the convoy could never guarantee 100% safety of crew, ships and goods that it carried. But, it was the most important morale booster that navy gave to ships.

At the same time, sometime in mid 1940, a textile firm in Bradford came out with idea of stenciling on its export packing cases the cheerful slogan "Britain Delivers the Goods", surmounted by a Union Jack. So excellent did this seem to the Export Council of the Board of Trade that similar stencils were sent to thousands of exporting firms. Some adopted a variant of the wording: "Shipped in a British ship under the protection of the British Navy." Both slogans served to impress the consignees with Empire's confidence of outwitting Hitler's vaunted blockade.

The slogan became so popular that variety of labels and cards were printed to enthuse patriotic feelings among carriers and people under allies protection. Below is one such set of 3 patriotic cards printed during world war II in red, brown and blue color.


The above card shows convoy of British warships and white ensign with narrative:

"Britain Delivers The Goods - Thanks to the British Navy"

On the reverse, same slogan is printed in 12 languages including Hindi, Urdu, Burmese, English and others. It is one of interesting patriotic cum propaganda card ever known.

I have also learnt that forged copies of such card is very common in market because of popularity of these. So, buy them only from reliable sources and become part of history!

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