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Children’s Propaganda Games of the Second World War (Hardback)

Playing and Collecting Nazi and Allied War Games

WWII > Hitler & the Third Reich

By Nicholas Milton
Imprint: Pen & Sword History
Pages: 288
Illustrations: 100 mono illustrations
ISBN: 9781399060998
Published: 2nd May 2024



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During the Second World War, hundreds of games were manufactured by the British, Germans and Americans aimed at children. Despite being cheaply made due to the wartime economy, the games were often fun to play and challenging to win. They also had considerable propaganda value helping to manipulate children into supporting the war. To get their attention, many of the games incorporated dramatic artwork and were based on real wartime events from the evacuation of children in 1939 to the dropping of the atomic bomb in 1945.

This book features a large selection of different games produced by the British, Germans and Americans and tells the stories behind their wartime propaganda. The Nazis in particular prided themselves on producing games which promoted and glamourised war, exploiting children's patriotism and pride in German conquests. Some of their most insidious games included Juden Raus! (Jews Out!) and Bomber über England (Bomber over England). However, the British and Americans also produced unethical games like Target for Tonight which promoted the carpet bombing of Germany and Atomic Bomb, a dexterity puzzle about the nuclear bombing of Japan.

The games featured in this book include roll and move games with a board and die, pinball and similar ‘shooting’ games, dexterity and other puzzles and card games. They were made out of paper, card, wood, rubber, bakelite plastic and initially metal. Remarkably despite wartime restrictions games were manufactured throughout the conflict to meet the demand from boys and girls as they closely followed the changing fortunes of the war. Today many of the games have become scarce so for collectors a guide to their value and rarity is included.

Collectors of antique children’s games will appreciate the information contained in the book and the guide to the range of prices one can expect to pay for each game.

Highly recommended..., this book offers an alternative perspective – children’s or family games - to that of the History of Wargaming Project, whose focus is professional or serious adult hobby wargames.

Miniature Wargames

About Nicholas Milton

Nicholas Milton is an ornithologist, historian and a journalist. He has worked for The BBC Natural History Unit, The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, The Wildlife Trusts and Greenpeace and has also written extensively about the Second World War for The Daily TelegraphThe GuardianThe Daily Mail and The Independent. His first book, Neville Chamberlain's Legacy, was published by Pen and Sword in 2019.

Perfect Partner

The American Homefront During WWII Blackouts, Ration-books and Rosie the Riveter (Hardback)

Don’t you know there’s a war on?! Use it up… Wear it out… Make it do… Or do without! Loose Lips Sink Ships! Any Bonds Today? Remember Pearl Harbor! Those were the slogans Americans called out to each other on the home front during WW II. They forged their days surrounded by fellow patriots sharing in the greatest endeavour of their lives: winning the war. The American Home Front in WW II presents the striking story of those times starting with little-known events well before Pearl Harbor – the clashes between isolationists and those favoring intervention and America’s first peacetime…

By C D Peterson

Click here to buy both titles for £45.60
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