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the other victory parade

On the June 15th 1946, barely seven years after the last war memorial to WW1 was unveiled overlooking Swansea Bay, and 27 years after the last Victory Parade, troops were again marching through London to wild cheers and patriotic flag waving following a war bloodier by far than the last.

From the London Illustrated News 12 July 1946

‘A specially warm tribute of applause was forthcoming from the crowds all along the Victory Parade route as the troops of our Allies marched by; and as they passed the saluting base, the war leaders grouped there beside the royal dais made grateful acknowledgment to the flags of countries whose men had fought side by side with our men. Headed by the Guards band, the representatives of Allied forces were led by the United States, whose contingent included the Marine Corps. After the American contingent came the troops of China, occupying the place in the procession originally reserved for USSR, and behind them came contingents with a bewildered variety of flags and uniforms - France, Belgium, Brazil, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Egypt, Ethiopia, Greece, Iran, Iraq, Luxembourg, Mexico, Nepal, Netherlands, Norway and Transjordan. Apart from the USSR, only Poland and Yugoslavia were not represented among our Allies....’

This Illingworth cartoon from Punch 12 June 1946 refers to London's Victory Parade down the Mall, and draws attention to the two vital elements in the allied victory which were not present. Is this cartoon a simple tribute to an ally or a suggestion that the Bomb and the Bear are equally dangerous and deserve careful observation in the future?                                 

As in the case of World War One the fighting had ended but political compromises, bad faith and a megalomaniac wish to control the world by the US and USSR ensured that conflict would continue and erupt in bloody proxi-wars around the globe.

A larger version of this cartoon is available as a pdf file which can be printed for classroom use. See the pdf section on the introductory page.