For Twentieth-century propagandists, the Middle Ages were a time of legend, filled with knights and crusaders, saints and dragons, all easily marshaled to support modern tales of victory and courage.As European governments sought to mobilize their populations for war, propaganda campaigns depicted conflict in simple terms – a battle between good and evil- and imagery of the Middle Ages provided the means to illustrate it.An election poster produced by the Nazi party ca.1932 likewise shows a medieval Teutonic knight slaying a hydra.
Knights are also featured in a 1942 Russian war poster entitled whose foreground shows Russian cavalry overwhelming German tanks, while in the background, Aleksandr Nevsky and his mounted Russian knights trample defeated Teutonic Crusaders.
Thus, its purpose was to rally the Russian people and increase morale as in the poster by drawing the connection to the seven-hundredth year anniversary of Nevsky’s victory.
In the summer of that year, the British forces were seeing casualties averaging 300 men daily (Levack, Muir, and Veldman 2013, 788).
The national morale would have been seriously low at a time when more recruits were needed and this poster was to increase both.
In these three different times and places, we can see a repeated appeal to the motif of chivalric knights.
The 1915 poster, for example, was published during the early struggles of World War I by the Parliamentary Recruiting Committee in London.