Service Newspapers of World War Two

The story of war as told by the newspapers and magazines that brought information, entertainment and camaraderie to the forces. 

Service Newspapers of World War Two contains an extensive range of both rare and well-known wartime publications for soldiers serving in major theatres around the world. Publications are included from many key nations involved in the conflict, such as the US, Canada, New Zealand, India, and the countries of Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Both Allied and Axis publications are presented, offering a broad view of the war and the experiences of those on its front lines.

In addition to maintaining the men’s morale and helping to create an atmosphere of solidarity, journalism played a vital role in keeping the servicemen informed about events in their unit and immediate locality, as well as delivering news from home and about the war at large. Many newspapers were written by the servicemen themselves, while others were sanctioned by senior staff and had a more official agenda.

This material, so rich in social and cultural history, offers a unique perspective on the local and global experience of the war, and will enable students and scholars to research key historical events of the War through the medium of contemporary publications.

This collection allows meaningful explorations of the myriad relationships between war, politics and society, across national and transnational contexts.
Chandrika Kaul, University of St Andrews

Key Data

Period Covered

  • 1939-1948

Highlights

Module I:

  • Thirteen editions of Union Jack, covering news from various fronts between 1943 and 1948
  • The weekly newspaper Springbok, produced for the South African forces serving in the Middle East
  • The Maple Leaf, published daily for Canadian forces in Britain
  • Stars and Stripes London edition, published daily for the US armed forces in the European theatre
  • Fauji Akhbar, a highly visual publication for Indian troops
  • Victory, another highly visual magazine for British soldiers serving in India
  • Eighth Army News, a British weekly for forces in Italy

Module II:

  • Parade, a highly visual weekly magazine for British forces in the Middle East
  • SEAC, the all-services newspaper of South East Asia Command
  • Ceylon Review, a weekly publication for British forces in Ceylon (Sri Lanka)
  • Yank, a popular magazine for the US armed forces
  • The Land Girl, published in Britain for the women’s land army on the home front
  • Guinea Gold (American and Australian editions)
  • Blighty, a weekly paper for British forces

Source Archives

  • The British Library
  • Imperial War Museums
  • US Army Heritage and Education Center, US Army War College
  • Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand
  • Berlin State Library – Prussian Cultural Heritage

Material Types

  • Newspapers and news sheets
  • Magazines
  • Journals
  • Pamphlets

Editorial Board

  • Jeremy Crang, University of Edinburgh
  • John Crawford, New Zealand Defence Force Historian
  • Brian Farrell, National University of Singapore
  • Jonathan Fennell, King’s College London
  • JĂĽrgen Förster Independent scholar, Freiburg
  • Chandrika Kaul, University of St Andrews
  • S. P. MacKenzie, University of South Carolina
  • Sian Nicholas, Aberystwyth University
  • Kurt Piehler, Florida State University
  • Gerhard L. Weinberg, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Emeritus)

Subjects

  • News coverage of key events, victories and battles
  • The soldier’s experience
  • The role and portrayal of women
  • Activity on the home front and the civilian experience
  • Identity and belonging
  • Morale and propaganda
  • Light entertainment
  • Local news and customs
  • Education and welfare
  • Empire

Key Features

  • Chronology
  • Visual galleries
  • Interactive map pinpointing where the newspapers’ readers were stationed and where they originated from
  • Newspaper profiles
  • Newspaper article segregation