This vintage Coca-Cola ad dates from the August 18, 1945 Saturday Evening Post back cover. Of course the war in the Pacific was over on August 15, 1945 with the signing of the Japanese surrender document occurring on September 2, 1945.

Even if I no longer like the product I still appreciate the illustrations in the old advertisements.

Coca-Cola ad 1945_tatteredandlost
Click image to see it larger.

There is a lot of information about Coca-Cola during World War II, not all of it a shining example of a positive war effort. The ads were how the corporation sold its product manipulating the public for a positive corporate image. And indeed, they did do their part for the soldiers:
Coca-Cola was involved in the Second World War.
Robert Woodruff made a point of supporting US troops so metal cans were introduced to meet their needs.

In 1941, when the United States entered the war, Woodruff decided that Coca-Cola's place was near the front line.

He sent an order to:

"See that ever man in uniform gets a bottle of Coca Cola for 5 cents wherever he is and whatever the cost to the company".

In 1939 Coca Cola only had 5 overseas bottling plants. By 1945, they had 64. What made it so popular? Because the water was disgusting. The army kept it clean by adding chlorine-so the water tasted like your local swimming pool, or worse.
On the 29th June 1943 General Dwight D Eisenhower ordered three million bottles of Coca- Cola to be sent to the allies in North Africa.

Plant and machinery for down town bottling plants were also sent so another three million bottles could be sent to the troops every six months.

By the end of the hostilities five billion bottles or cans of Coca-Cola had been drunk.

Coca-Cola had not only lifted the spirits of the US Armed Forces, it had also introduced itself to new markets. When the war ended the bottling plants and a little bit of America stayed too. (SOURCE: Digger History)
So while Coca-Cola was supporting the troops they were also still manufacturing their product, or trying to, in Nazi Germany. Since I'm not finding a definitive brief article I'll just give you links:

And a page with some images of the creator of Coke and the pharmacy where he sold it can be seen on this page.

To see more vintage Coca-Cola ads from World War II click here.


  1. The man responsible for making Coca-Cola a priority in WWII? James A. Farley: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Farley

  2. Thanks for the link, Dave. It's always fascinating to find out about corporations beyond what they present in their ads.

  3. I just purchased a piece of Coca-Cola International letterhead with a personal letter on it signed by Mr. Farley. He was a Postmaster General at one point, and created a number of stamp issues which became known as Farley's Follies. I generally ignore Coca-Cola paper when I see it on eBay, but this was a Buy It Now, so I spent ten bucks. I have no idea what I'm going to put on it yet, but I'm thinking a cropped Coke ad from during the war wouldn't be a bad idea.

  4. Dave, that sounds like a great idea! I'll keep my eyes open for anymore WW2 ads, but I don't think I have any. I'll have to take a look.