The 2 great military conflicts of the 20th century also reflected a battle between industrial output (and technological advance). With the fall of France in June 1940, Hitler had Occupied Europe as his factory and its subjugated people as his workforce. Britain, with her Empire & Dominions, continued the fight for freedom, but with the mainland in the frontline and subject to disruption of bombing manufacturing was hard-put to keep pace with demand.
The first advert for Lockheed is dated May 1941 and shows American production already going towards Britain’s war effort. Following Pearl Harbour the might of American industry shifted gear to full war production. Every sphere of industry, even to Coca Cola, supported the war effort. The following ads, to me, are all classic images - from the Atlantic convoy to the radio operator in the Far East.
As a result of war time rationing that even went down to the level of restricting the use of paper and coloured inks there are unfortunately no comparable images from Britain.
Lockheed May 1941
RAF Hudson bomber
General Motors 1943
Advert for AC Spark Plug Division of GM. Classic image of half track with machine gun blazing away.
Advert for Gruen makers of precision watches and now precision instruments for war. Classic image of anti- aircraft battery and searchlight beams.
Advert for Studebaker, builders of Wright cyclone engines for the Flying Fortress. Such a classic image that, as it says on the ad, had to be reprinted at the time.
Westinghouse March 1943
This advert lists the contribution of Westinghouse to the war effort. The image is only in black & white, but that seems to emphasise the bleakness of North Atlantic winter convoy duty.
Truck shown against background of India.
Nash 1944 (#1)
Classic image of a USAAF airman with inspirational words.
Nash 1944 (#2)
Classic image of a seaman now awaiting rescue after his ship goes down. More inspirational words.
Pennsylvania Railroad 1944
Classic image of a troop train.
Classic image that shows the ability of Studebaker's weasel over various terrain.
Studebaker August 1945
By the time this ad was published victory over Japan was all but complete. Classic image of a radio operator against a Far East background.
Coca Cola 1945
Classic image showing troops relaxing.