Female employees of the German munitions factory WASAG in their work clothes, 1916. The one on the right seems to have been “conscripted” (zwangsverpflichtet), though it is unclear on what basis. She was also apparently highly skilled insofar as she was a production manager (Produktionsleiterin) of some kind. Source: Haus der Geschichte Wittenberg, “Arbeiterinnen der WASAG Reinsdorf.”.
Poster, ca 1918: “Back our girls over there / United War Work Campaign / YWCA.”
Dear National Security Establishment, Please stop your collective freak-out about North Korea. The power of that country’s weapons lies mainly in our inability to tolerate any risk whatsoever.
I find this 1917 poster interesting because it seems to target urban, working-class immigrants. Besides the dress of the people waiting in line to lend Uncle Sam some money, there… Read more War Savings Stamps Poster, 1917 →
If military service had become a rite of passage for young men in much of Europe well before the mutual slaughter began in the summer of 1914, neither its ubiquity… Read more War, Gender, and Nation in 19th-Century Europe: A Preliminary Sketch →
Poster from 1919: “Hunger Knows No Armistice / Near East Relief.”
Mars (god of war), late 1918. Source and further details: Library of Congress, PPOC.
Interesting to consider that this was a reality for school kids in the early days of the Cold War. By the 1970s, when I was in school and aware of such things, such an understanding of nuclear weapons would have seemed extemely naive. In the mid-1980s, in the field artillery, we were taught to drop to the ground, asses to the blast and hands between our legs. That was for tactical nuclear artillery rounds, but it felt just as silly. Source and further details: Prelinger Archives, https://archive.org/details/DuckandC1951.
This is an older critique, and I agree there has been much improvement. Still, negative examples abound, making this short piece as worthwhile as ever.
I’ve been taking some time to think more about a slow-moving article on Wilhelm Groener I’ve been working on. It has received a big boost recently from the GHI’s… Read more Preparing to Fight the Last War? Maybe Not →
A younger historian on Facebook called this picture a “Nice primary source of the late Cold War!” I don’t know what that makes me, the guy in front, but I… Read more Grafenwöhr 1983 →
One of the new research focuses at the GHI since our director, Simone Lässig, began her tenure last October is the history of knowledge.1 The study of knowledge in its… Read more A Few Notes on the History of Knowledge →
I have had to withdraw from an interesting handbook project because of excessive overlap with two other chapters. My topic was on the matrix of gender, war, and nation in… Read more Historiographical Impasse →
I recently noticed that the English translation of Der Schlieffenplan: Analysen und Dokumente, edited by Hans Ehlert, Michael Epkenhans, and Gerhard P. Groß, is now available from the University… Read more Terence Zuber, Military History, and Culture →
I study European history, so why did I post about Sand Creek earlier today? And why excerpt seemingly gratuitous violence? I have no expertise in U.S. history, but I am interested in the history of violence per se, which can reveal a lot about peoples and cultures at a given point in history. Further, the U.S. Civil War has some important structural similarities to the Franco-Prussian War, and perhaps to other European wars in the mid nineteenth century.1 Given the causal relationship between the U.S. Civil War and the expansion… Read more Why Atrocities? →
In the New York Times, Ned Blackhawk reminds us, “It’s the 150th anniversary of one of the most appalling massacres of Indians ever.”
In terms of sheer horror, few events matched Sand Creek. Pregnant women were murdered and scalped, genitalia were paraded as trophies, and scores of wanton acts of violence characterize the accounts of the few Army officers who dared to report them. . . .
Sand Creek, Bear River and the Long Walk remain important parts of the Civil War and of American history. But in our popular narrative, the Civil War obscures such campaigns against American Indians. In fact, the war made such violence possible . . .
At Portal Militärgeschichte, Markus Pöhlmann reports that a joint German-Russian digitization project has made available a substantial number of World War One–era German military documents at the Russian defense ministry’s… Read more Digitized Resources for World War I Research →
At a recent lecture on the Great War, Roger Chickering said, “I’m not a military historian.”1 The phrase stuck in my mind because he said it two more times during the course of the lecture and discussion. I’m sure he was trying to avoid letting the discussion get sidetracked by narrower debates about military operations, which was fair enough in the context of his talk about a series of common structural elements in Germany’s, France’s, and Great Britain’s wars. Nonetheless, his words bothered me. Of course, there was nothing surprising… Read more ‘Not a Military Historian’ →
Last week I read Jörg Muth, Command Culture.1 The book’s main subject is about training U.S. officers for war, and it draws on the German officer corps in the interwar… Read more Command Culture by Jörg Muth →
As I try to write an article about Groener’s understanding of war, which led him to write about Schlieffen’s supposed “recipe for victory,”, I have to keep asking myself, so what? I don’t mean this is in a negative way. I haven’t tired of this topic. But I’m not always sure why it should matter to other people. If I look at the Schlieffen Plan debate carried out mainly in the pages of War in History, it is clear that Groener’s perspective has something to offer that audience, because the… Read more Who Should Groener’s Schlieffen Plan Matter To? →