“Only the Navy can stop this” (1917)

Under Kaiser Wilhelm II, Germany developed a reputation as an overbearing, arrogant, and militaristic state. This image of their homeland did not serve German-Americans well. The Kaiser’s words, actions, and foreign policy cast a taint over German culture as a whole, forcing many German-Americans to distance themselves from their native or ancestral land. During wartime, caricatures of the Kaiser such as this one, which portrays him as large, menacing, and bloodthirsty, played a key role in recruitment efforts for the U.S. armed services. Poster by American artist W.A. Rodgers (1854-1931). Printed by the U.S. Navy Publicity Bureau, New York.