World War II propaganda poster featuring Winston Churchill as an OCTOPUS is up for sale

World War II propaganda poster featuring Winston Churchill as an OCTOPUS is up for sale

A bizarre propaganda poster depicting Winston Churchill as an octopus after he ordered the destruction of the French navy in World War II could be sold at auction for £5,000.

The poster was issued in 1941 by the Nazi-supporting Vichy regime in France following the successful invasion of the country by German troops in May and June 1940.

It depicts Churchill, who succeeded Neville Chamberlain as prime minister in May 1940, as a grotesque octopus with tentacles and a cigar between his teeth.

Tentacles that wrap around Britain, Africa and parts of the Middle East are bloodied in known areas of conflict between Britain, Germany and Vichy France in 1940.

His French signature translates to: “Rest assured… His amputations are proceeding methodically”—an obvious allusion to the supposed failures of the British war effort.

The most prominent area of ​​conflict highlighted on the poster is the destruction by the British of a French navy at Mers el Kebir off the coast of Algiers in July 1940.

Churchill famously ordered the attack to prevent the ships from falling under German control after the disastrous Allied defeat in the Battle of France. This resulted in the loss of 1,300 French sailors.

The bloody tentacle also points to Norway, referring to the Allies’ disastrous attempt to defend the country as it tried to resist the German invasion.

The failure of the campaign ultimately led to Chamberlain’s resignation.

The poster will be sold tomorrow by a private collector at the Sworders Auction at Stansted Mountfitchet, Cambridge. It is expected to sell for between £4,000 and £5,000.

A whimsical propaganda poster featuring Winston Churchill as an octopus, highlighting Britain's alleged failures in the first year of World War II, could be sold at auction for £5,000.

A whimsical propaganda poster featuring Winston Churchill as an octopus, highlighting Britain’s alleged failures in the first year of World War II, could be sold at auction for £5,000.

The most prominent area of ​​conflict highlighted on the poster is the British destruction of the French navy (pictured) at Mers el Kebir, off the coast of Algiers, in July 1940.

The most prominent area of ​​conflict highlighted on the poster is the British destruction of the French navy (pictured) at Mers el Kebir, off the coast of Algiers, in July 1940.

After the fall of France in 1940, a government in exile known as the “Free French” was led by General Charles de Gaulle from London.

In France, the authoritarian Vichy regime, led by Marshal Philippe Pétain, cooperated with the occupying German forces.

Although Pétain promised that the French fleet would not fall into German hands, he refused to send ships out of German reach.

This prompted Churchill to issue an ultimatum that if the ships were not moved, they would be destroyed.

He was concerned that the ships would increase the strength of a potential German invasion force aimed at Britain.

With Vichy France unable to enter service, Churchill ordered the attack on Mers el Kebir, which came only a month after the Allied forces had been forced to evacuate Dunkirk.

The poster depicts Churchill (pictured), who succeeded Neville Chamberlain as prime minister in May 1940, as a grotesque octopus with tentacles and a cigar between his teeth.

The poster depicts Churchill (pictured), who succeeded Neville Chamberlain as prime minister in May 1940, as a grotesque octopus with tentacles and a cigar between his teeth.

The massacre of French sailors caused a diplomatic crisis and prompted the French regime to launch retaliatory bombardments of Gibraltar.

In the campaign in Norway, which the poster refers to, the Allied forces unsuccessfully tried to resist the invasion of the country by Nazi Germany.

Over 6,600 Allied troops, of whom over 4,000 were British, were killed, and there were also heavy naval casualties.

The failure of the campaign led to Chamberlain’s resignation in May 1940, leading to the rise of Churchill as his successor.

However, the poster also shows other areas of conflict between Britain, Vichy France and Germany.

One detached tentacle points to Dakar in French West Africa, which is now Senegal.

Churchill ordered the destruction of the French fleet (pictured) off the coast of Algiers after the regime of Vichy France, led by Marshal Philippe Pétain, refused to move the ships out of German reach.

Churchill ordered the destruction of the French fleet (pictured) off the coast of Algiers after the regime of Vichy France, led by Marshal Philippe Pétain, refused to move the ships out of German reach.

In the campaign in Norway, which the poster refers to, the Allied forces unsuccessfully tried to resist the invasion of the country by Nazi Germany.  In the picture: the British military aircraft carrier leaves for Norway.

In the campaign in Norway, which the poster refers to, the Allied forces unsuccessfully tried to resist the invasion of the country by Nazi Germany. In the picture: the British military aircraft carrier leaves for Norway.

Over 6,600 Allied troops, of whom over 4,000 were British, were killed, and there were also heavy naval casualties.  Pictured: British destroyer at the mercy of shells

Over 6,600 Allied troops, of whom over 4,000 were British, were killed, and there were also heavy naval casualties. Pictured: British destroyer at the mercy of shells

There, in the so-called Battle of Dakar, British, Free French and Australian troops tried and failed to capture the Vichy French port of the same name.

It was hoped that the success of the operation would enable Free French forces led by de Gaulle to seize control of Dakar.

Instead, the Allies failed to take the port and it remained in Vichy hands.

Other areas mentioned on the poster are the British invasion of Vichy, French Syria and Lebanon in June 1941. The defeat of Vichy led to the takeover of Syria and Lebanon by the Free French.

Speaking about the poster, Sworders auctioneer Mark Wilkinson told MailOnline: “This is such an incredible image, so vibrant.

One detached tentacle points to Dakar in French West Africa, which is now Senegal.  There, in the so-called Battle of Dakar, British, Free French and Australian troops tried and failed to capture the Vichy French port of the same name.  Pictured: HMS Ark Royal flying a Fairey Swordfish during the battle.

One detached tentacle points to Dakar in French West Africa, which is now Senegal. There, in the so-called Battle of Dakar, British, Free French and Australian troops tried and failed to capture the Vichy French port of the same name. Pictured: HMS Ark Royal flying a Fairey Swordfish during the battle.

“The story behind the piece is really interesting. Due to the time it was printed, there are obviously not many of them.

“The French Vichy regime, a puppet state in France, created this negative poster of Churchill.

“It’s rare, the value depends a lot on the graphics. It’s so amazing. Everything related to Churchill is being sought. This is also a large scale poster. When you see this, if you take out a ruler, it’s quite a startling thing.

“I would guess it was used on billboards. That’s where the rarity comes from. He is in very good condition,” he added.

What is Vichy France?

After France was invaded by Nazi Germany in 1940, Marshal Philippe Petain ruled the country.

France under his authoritarian rule became known as Vichy France after establishing its headquarters in the resort town of Vichy.

Although officially an independent state, it adopted a policy of cooperation with Nazi Germany, whose soldiers first occupied the northern and western parts of the country, and from November 1942 occupied the rest.

The Pétain regime was responsible for the civil administration of the country while it was occupied.

After the invasion of France by Nazi Germany in 1940, Marshal Philippe Pétain ruled the country (Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler is shaking his head in the photo on the left).

After the invasion of France by Nazi Germany in 1940, Marshal Philippe Pétain ruled the country (Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler is shaking his head in the photo on the left).

He became known for his authoritarian and anti-Semitic policies, which eventually led to the deportation of thousands of Jews to Germany, where they were killed in death camps.

Many of the 76,000 Jews killed came from major cities, including Paris, where the occupying German garrison worked closely with their French allies.

Numerous crimes were also committed in the so-called “free zone” in the south, where Pétain ran his puppet government.

After the French invasion, General Charles de Gaulle fled to London and set up a government in exile known as the Free French.

The Vichy regime remained in power until the Allied invasion of Normandy in 1944, after which de Gaulle was placed at the head of the new national government.

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