Untitled wartime propaganda map poster designed by Jean Fort, depicting Roosevelt & Churchill struggling between each other over the African Continent
- Author: Jean Fort
- Publisher: ORAFF (Publishers) - Bedos & Cie (Printers)
- Date: c1942-3
- Dimensions: Backing: 124 x 83.5 cms. Poster: 119 x 80 cms
Rare propaganda poster published in German-occupied Paris, c1942-3 – Roosevelt & Churchill grapple over the African Continent!
About this piece:
Jean Fort (artist)
Untitled wartime propaganda map poster, depicting Roosevelt & Churchill struggling between each other over the African Continent
Colour-printed poster. Wide margins. Entirely backed on conservation-quality linen. Some very slight toning along old vertical fold lines. Two or three small areas of surface damage and cracking, in left and right centre of image. Area of slightly more visible browning with short paper split in blank border adjacent to sheet edge at upper left.
Remarkable and uncommon large-scale wartime propaganda poster, published & distributed in Occupied France in late 1942 or early 1943 under the auspices of ORAFF (L’Office de Répartition de l’Affichage), an organisation established by the German occupying authorities in Paris in November 1941. The poster bears the ORAFF imprint in the lower right corner, with the reference number “V.I. 1056”
The poster also bears the signature of Jean Fort in the upper left corner and the imprint of the Parisian printers, Bedos & Cie, in the lower left corner.
Offered here is a striking caricatured image of the two wartime leaders of America and Great Britain – Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Winston Churchill (complete with cigar, bow tie and wartime-issue steel helmet) – apparently fighting between each other for control of the African Continent, in which are prominently planted the American and British flags.
An explanation of this unusual focus on Africa is provided by the successful Allied landings which took place in Vichy-controlled French North Africa in November 1942 (Operation Torch).
Coordinated naval bombardments and amphibious landings by American and British forces took place in French Morocco and Algeria on 8th November 1942. Within two days, thanks mainly to the role of the Vichy leader Admiral Darlan, who brokered a deal with the American General Einsenhower, Vichyite resistance in French North Africa quickly ceased. Darlan was recognized as French “High Commissioner” in North Africa and existing Vichyite officials were largely left in their existing positions of power. Charles de Gaulle’s authority as the leader of the Free France and titular head of France’s government in exile was deeply compromised by the Einsenhower-Darlan deal, whilst American and British public opinion took offence at the lack of action against Vichy officials, who were widely regarded as Nazi collaborators, with Darlan amongst the worst of them. Darlan himself would be assassinated in December 1942
The news of the Eisenhower-Darlan deal triggered the German invasion of Vichy France, the sending of German troops to Tunisia and, shortly afterwards, the coordinated scuttling of the French Vichy naval fleet at Toulon on November 27th 1942, to avoid it falling into invading German hands.
This poster deflects attention away from the self-evident Allied successes in French North Africa, offering an alternative propagandist narrative and message. It clearly suggests deep underlying tensions and divisions between Roosevelt and Churchill and amongst the upper echelons of the Allied Military High Command. It also suggests increasingly divergent strategic, military & political aims & agendas amonst the Allies in relation to North Africa, as had indeed been first highlighted in the controversial Eisenhower-Darlan agreement of November 10th.