Did a WWI Recruiting Poster Inspire the Most Iconic Shot in Dr. Strangelove?

By Conor Friedersdorf

Recall the climactic scene from Dr. Strangelove, where Major Kong straddles the atomic bomb, riding it like a rodeo bull as it plummets toward nuclear apocalypse:

What was the inspiration for that scene? It's impossible to know for sure. But as I was strolling through the Deutsches Historisches Museum, where there's a substantial section on World War I, I unexpectedly came across this American recruitment poster:

Did Stanley Kubrick ever see that poster? Either way, it's a hell of an image to persuade someone to risk his life in the fight against unrestricted submarine warfare!

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2013/10/did-a-wwi-recruiting-poster-inspire-the-most-iconic-shot-in-em-dr-strangelove-em/280142/