Propaganda of War! Savannah Line


One cannot wage war under present conditions without the support of public opinion, which is tremendously molded by the press and other forms of propaganda.”

– Douglas MacArthur

WWI was the first time propaganda was utilized on a global scale. In order for battles to be won on Flanders Fields they had to be won on the home front as well. Along with other forms of media, propaganda posters were employed to win this battle. They were used to instill animosity for the enemy, justification for war, and to encourage military enrollment and civilian support.

In recognition of the 100th anniversary of the United States’ entry into WWI, this year the Museum will feature the exhibit, “Propaganda of War! Savannah Line” highlighting the effects of two world wars on the Ocean Steamship Company of Savannah through the use of “imagined” and “re-imagined” propaganda posters.

This exhibit, open from April 4 – October 15, 2017, Tuesday-Sunday from 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM (Last Admission 4:15 PM), will also contain installations featuring the SS CITY OF MEMPHIS and the SS CITY OF ATLANTA, two Savannah Line vessels sunk by German U-boats in WWI and WWII respectively. SS CITY OF MEMPHIS:

City of Memphis was one of three U.S. vessels sunk by German submarines in March 1917. Pressed by these attacks on 2 April 1917, President Woodrow Wilson delivered his War Message to a special session of Congress requesting a declaration of war against Germany. The declaration was passed four days later. SS CITY OF ATLANTA:

Immediately after the United States entered WWII, Germany implemented Operation Drumbeat

– a mission to disrupt merchant shipping along the U.S. East Coast. City of Atlanta was a fatality of this mission. Sunk by U-123 on 19 January 1942, only three of 46 crew members survived. This installation is highlighted with items from the Thomas Kenney Collection. A local Savannahain and Atlanta’s Chief Engineer, Kenny did not survive the attack.

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