Thursday, May 27, 2010

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Back Them Up - The Hudson & U-570 - World War II Propaganda Poster

Back Them Up! National Savings Bond Poster, World War II

The war had to be financed by all means possible so in addition to taxation and war loans from allies, the public was exhorted to scrape together a few coppers, silver coins would be nicer, and support the war effort through national savings bonds. Such thrift had the additional benefit of suppressing consumption at home. Besides, with war time shortages and priority given to war industries, who could find anything to buy with their weekly pay packet, anyway?

A little research reveals that the Lockheed Hudson of 269 Squadron British Coastal Command pictured in the poster captured the German U 570 U-boat submarine on 27 August, 1941. The crew of the Hudson spotted a U-boat on the surface off Iceland, dropping 4 depth charges on it as it attempted to dive, damaging it so that it re-surfaced. After a good raking with machine gun fire, the U-boat captain surrendered. Next day the crew were removed and the vessel boarded to recover whatever documents that could be useful to the war effort and to attempt to save the submarine for further examination. The U-570 was subsequently towed into harbour in Iceland then taken to the UK after repairs. It yielded a wealth of invaluable technical information to the Allies on the operation of U-boats.

U-570 had a very short wartime service, commissioned in May or June 1941 it was effectively decommissioned by the late August attack. Allied investigators concluded the submarine actually could have evaded its circling British captors overnight by submerging and sailing away but a panicked and inexperienced crew, already troubled by severe sea sickness, lacked the knowledge and capability to do so. The U-570 crew earned the dubious distinction of being the only U-boat crew to surrender in World War II..

A wealth of information - photos, plans, and reports on the U-570 capture and examination of its design and operation can be found at U-boat Archive.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Speed Up Production! - WW II War Propaganda Poster

World War II Propaganda Poster - Speed Up Production, artist Marcus King

The effort on the home front to keep the troops supplied on the various battlefronts was essential so a little motivation by poster was the order of the day.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Don't Talk - New Zealand World War II Propaganda Poster

Don't Talk - New Zealand World War II Propaganda Poster
Today - in a world of constant babble with people incessantly texting, tweeting, phoning, and emailing - it's hard to imagine just what the wartime experience of self- and imposed censorship would be like."Loose lips, sinks ships" as they said. 

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

No Matter Where You Hang Out - New Zealand War Propaganda Poster

World War II New Zealand War Propaganda poster.

One of my personal favourites in war propaganda posters. Take a tinkle on Hitler, Mum's the word!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Prize Seats for World Cup Rugby in New Zealand?

Play the Game, NZ Department of Health Poster, circa 1940s -50s.

Gone are the days you could watch a game this way. With the cake tin style space ships that serve as stadia (stadiums) today you'd be hard pushed to find a paling fence to look over or peek through a knot hole. 

And "play the game, any game"... today might be an invitation to become a full time couch potato playing video games. Time for a new slogan.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Blue Smoke - Pixie Williams - First NZ Pop Song?

Blue Smoke, the first pop song said to be recorded in New Zealand, circa World War II, by Pixie Williams. Written by Ruru Karitana in 1940. A comment on the You Tube page by a person claiming to be Ms Williams as her Nana states that the singer is still with us as Ms Pixie Costello.

Not sure about the video feed but it appears to have been produced to lend nostalgic images of the 1940s to accompany the musical composition.

A new version of Blue Smoke has reportedly been produced recently.

The composer  Karitiana gave the origins of the song as follows: "We were on the troopship Aquitania in 1940 off the coast of Africa when a friend drew my attention to some passing smoke. He put the song in my lap," said Karatiana. 

Sing along, here are the lyrics:

Blue smoke goes drifting by into the deep blue sky
And when I think of home I sadly sigh
Oh I can see you there with loving tears in your eyes
As we fondly said our last goodbyes.
And as I sailed away with a longing to stay
I promised I'd be true and to love only you

Blue smoke goes drifting by into the deep blue sky
My memories of home will never die.

BRIDGE, spoken
Smoke drifts above me - Whispering I miss you
Taking my thoughts back to you - Across the sea
I know that when - I sail home again
I'll find you waiting for me.

VERSE 2. Women
Auahi rere nei ki rö te rangi nui
Me öku mahara tae atu aue
He nui rä te aroha me te roimata ...
... "E wehe nei, e wehe nei ra koe."
E haere rä ahau me te aroha nui
Möhou, e tama e, te aroha nei

Auahi rere nei ki rö te rangi nui
E kore au e wareware e.
E kore au e wareware e. 

Smoke drifts away high into the sky
and the memories come flooding back. "Aue!!"
Those overwhelming feelings, and the tears
" ... You are going, you are going ...
I travel with you on the wings of my love
Oh Tama, my love is all for you."

Smoke drifts away high into the sky.
I will never forget you.
I will never never forget you.