Sunday, April 22, 2012

German WW2 Propaganda Leaflet against Indian Soldiers - Free Excursion to London

After a long time here is a German WW2 propaganda leaflet against Indian soldiers as part of Allied forces for my readers to savor! As usual this one is not in very good condition but then you can't expect more from a leaflet. It survived all odds of war for us to enjoy and admire it.

I am directly copying text from Herbert Friedman's article, which states:

This German leaflet (delta.gif (1104 bytes)161/9 44 "Free Excursion to London") depicts three Indian troops looking at three scantily-dressed dancing girls. The propaganda text is very interesting. The Germans claim that after the war the British intend to give any Indians who had been held prisoner, a tour of London. They then suggest that rather than being killed on the battlefield, wouldn't it be better to allow yourself to be taken prisoner so that you can take part in the free tour. 

The text is: 

Tour of London! Free! 

All India Radio Delhi has said in its evening news bulletin of 25 September 1944 that the British government has decided recently that those prisoners of war who would be in Germany would be sent to London after the war. Beautiful girls having magical eyes are waiting even from now itself for those Indians who had jumped into the flames of war for the victory of England but fortunately did not meet the death. After this pleasure trip (of London) they will be sent home. 

But What Will Become of You Who Are Still on Battlefields? 

Be victims of the chilly winds of the Alps 
Be frozen in the freezing cold of Italy 
Face the adversary, platoons and weapons 
And finally, be targets of bullets! 

Go to permanent sleep with the desire to go home! 

If the war is going to end soon as the British propaganda says, then is it justified for you to lose your life in the terminal stage? 

One stone two birds! 
Protect your life!        Tour of London via Germany! 
And then home!

The back depicts the same three Indian soldiers enjoying a cruise on a ship named "London." The text is the same as on the front.

Sunday, April 15, 2012


Today's post is continuation of my previous post "Don't Believe In Rumour". It is another propaganda airmail letter created by Indian Airmail Society.

Shown above is one of the famous airmail letter issued by Indian Airmail Society during WWII. The concept of such letter was from Stephen Smith, secretary of Indian Airmail Society and a known pioneer of Rocket Mail during those times.

The letter was carried through a airplane piloted by J. *ton (I am terribly sorry but I couldn't read the letters properly. If any of my reader can decode then please let me know). The letter carries his signature close to large shaped 'V'. The letter carries a red colored special cancellation cachets: "BY AIR" and a black colored "CC-Calcutta" on front side.

The letter has cancellation of Dum Dum (a place in Calcutta) of November 21, 1941, 9:15 a.m. It has been backstamped with slogan "Buy Defence Savings Certificates" dated November 21, 1941, 5:30 p.m. at Park Street (again Calcutta).

This cover has also been signed by Stephen Smith on the reverse side.

The letter carries a very large V in red color with text in center and "DON'T JUMP TO CONCLUSIONS" in bigger font on the left side. The text on left hand side reads:


The message reminds Axis forces of massive Italian defeat in Africa by General Wavell forces in February 1941.

It continues with more text:


It sarcastically mentions EPSOM SALTS which originated from Epsom, Surrey, England.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Support to Blind People - WW2 Pamphlet (India)

Today's post is on one of the advertisement pamphlet issued by Government of India during WW2 to assist blind soldiers. I don't have much historical background on it i.e. in which year it was issued or was it really a government agency publication/distribution or some private party. My guess is it was indeed some governmental organization publishing but the pamphlet doesn't give any concrete proof.

Since the text of the pamphlet is in Hindi hence I have translated them in English for consumption of my readers.

Support to Blind people

Government of India has accepted the proposal to educate Blind soldiers in Lahore's Blind School and Bombay's Victoria Memorial School.

The blind soldiers will be able to learn variety of useful craftsmanship in these schools. They will be able to develop skills which will help them spend their time working. If they wish then they can earn extra money besides their pension.

Relevant skills and quality will be:

Education Related
Read, write and be able to do calculations using specially designed books.

Craftsmanship Related
Making wooden basket, weaving clothes and placing bent tree sticks to form chairs.

These schools will teach education and craftsmanship related skills. Blind soldiers will be given following perks while they get trained in these schools:
a) Free Food and Shelter
b) 6 Rupees monthly allowance besides their pension or any income they would have earned through their skills.
c) Blind soldier and if needed his assistance will be paid for return rail transportation charges from his house or barrack where he is under treatment to school.

The duration of training will be around 9 months.

Whoever (blind soldier) would like to get admission in these schools shall place his request to his district collector.

Delhi Printing Works, Delhi

Saturday, April 7, 2012

WW2 India Airgraph - Taj Mahal Illustration

For last couple of months, I have been reluctantly trying to build collection on WW2 India related Airgraphs. One of the reason has been high cost of these materials and not having proper catalogue to compare and find out how many such varieties are in existence. Every time, I see such Airgraph not in my collection, I am inclined to buy them but at last moment I have withdrawn because of high cost. So far, I have tried to buy only those which I think design wise are really gem and worth to be in my collection. Most likely, prices of these varieties will keep on going northwards only.

I am presenting two such Airgraphs today from my collection which have Taj Mahal as theme. Shown below is first such variety, sent by A Roper of 7th Battalion, Worcester Regiment, India Command in 1943 to Mrs. D. Adams, London. The Airgraph has censor DHC6.

The Airgraph has message in English:

My thoughts of you are fondest and this Xmas wish sincere is made of all the happiness that I wish you through the year.

- From your loving brother.

The Airgraph has printed design of multiple Taj Mahal starting from left side and moving towards right side. As it moves from left to right the size decreases. It then also has on right hand side a vertical black block on which two roses are depicted with text:

1943 - 1944

Greetings FOR A MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A Victorious New Year

Shown above is another variety sent by Major J Roberts of GHQ (I) SIGNALS, India Command to J. A. R. Dryden, Edinburgh, Scotland in 1944.

It shows a soldier on left hand side smiling with India and Taj Mahal in center. The print also has on the left hand side temples/mosques and church on right hand side with a ship sailing from left side to right side. Basically, it conveys wishes and letters moving from India to England (home).

It has a message:

"Christmas Greetings to all at Home"

which sums up all the illustration.

I was automatically drawn towards both the illustration and ended by buying them at high price :-) I guess, I will continue to do so as long as I see good illustration on Airgraph. See this for example (this is in my wish list for long time). Though, I don't think I can ever build an impressive collection as Alan Berman did.

As a reference you can see original form of 2nd Airgraph shown above here.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Patriotic Labels of British India aganist Japan in WWII - Part 2

This is in continuation of my previous post where I showed patriotic & propaganda labels of British India against Japan during WW2. The labels I shared in earlier post were not documented in "Patriotic & Propaganda of the British Commonwealth Catalogue -By Clive Edwards".

But the one shown below is :-) I happen to find one such usage of label that too on postal cover!

This one is documented in catalogue as 1/497. It has Japanese flag with dagger in centre in red and black color with purple background. The label is of size 22x38 mm with perforation of 13.5 and no face values as depicted above. The text reads "Anything you say may reach Japan".

The front side of the envelope is also shown above which indicates that the letter was sent from Bombay to Guwahati on 18th Nov 1944.

Below one is another prized letter in my collection where you can see a large scale label on same format as shown above. This one has text "The Japs Put Our 'Idle Talk' to Work". The label also has Japanese flag with dagger in centre in red and black color with yellow background.

I had seen normal labels but didn't know such patriotic economy label was also in existence which is not recorded any where.

If anyone has any such sample or labels for sell then please contact me. I will definitely be interested.
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