These are the military's jaw-dropping propaganda posters against WWII soldiers' real enemy: STDs

During World War 2, the American government’s propaganda posters were not limited to caricatures of Adolf Hitler, General Hideki Tojo, and Benito Mussolini. The Allied forces were fighting an additional enemy as well: venereal diseases.

According to military medical records, “In World War I, the Army lost nearly 7 million person-days and discharged more than 10,000 men because of STDs. Only the great influenza pandemic of 1918–1919 accounted for more loss of duty during that war.”

So when syphilis and gonorrhea outbreaks spread in the beginning of World War II, the government launched a scare-tactic campaign against STDs. Battalions would be shown subtly nicknamed “Susie Rotten-crotch” films, all of which depicted a similar story: Soldier meets a local temptress, they have sex, and the soldier contracts a venereal disease. One famous movie was titled “USS VD: Ship of Shame.”

In addition to the films the government also produced a series of posters to encourage pure soldiers to fend off diseased and scheming ladies of the night. Captions spouted “facts” such as “98% of all procurable women have venereal disease.”

1. Fool the Axis – use prophylaxis

fool the axis std poster

2. 98% of all procurable women have venereal disease

all procurable women have venereal disease

3. She may be a bag of trouble

She may be a bag of trouble std poster

4. Be sly, V.D. is high

be sly vd is high

5. Venereal disease covers the earth

Venereal disease covers the earth std poster

6. Syphilis

syphilis std poster

7. Army STD

army std poster

8. Booby trap

booby trap std poster

9. A minute with Venus

A minute with Venus std poster

10. Do not believe him

Do not believe him std poster

11. She may look clean – but

She may look clean - but std poster

12. Lightning can strike twice

lightning can strike twice std poster

13. There’s no medicine for regret

There's no medicine for regret std poster

14. Juke joint sniper

juke joint sniper

15. Knockout V.D.

knock out vd std poster

16. The victory girls are on the loose

The victory girls are on the loose std poster

17. Warning: These enemies are still lurking around

lurking enemies std poster

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This article originally appeared at Business Insider Defense. Copyright 2015. Follow BI Defense on Twitter.

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