Sunday, October 11, 2015
WOMEN at WAR Postcards
Recently, the question of what roles women in the US military will take in the future is again in the news...women have always been a valuable part of war efforts although not in combat roles. This post opens with a picture of WWI Red Cross nurses in a July 4th 1918 parade after the war ended.
A real photo postcard shows WWI era young British nurses holding the flag and wearing their uniforms. Many postcards exist - both photographic and artistic - showing these "Angels of Mercy" who helped wounded soldiers both at the front and after the soldiers returned home.
Some artists - above are two signed Xavier Sager examples from France - created risque images for postcards that combined the war theme and sexy women. The image on the left especially shows off Sager's witty erotic style and is from a series of women riding artillery. Note the red and white striped emblem on the woman's hat at right. These are divided back WWI postcards.
In WWII, women filled war-effort jobs at home while men were in battle overseas. The information printed on the back of the above postcard says, "Kansas has pioneered in the training and accepting of women for factory jobs. When the war production program stepped up production, Kansas factories were ... ahead of the field in the number of women employees operating machines, releasing men for the tasks demanding more vigorous efforts."
Here is a Tuck-published postcard from the UK showing a W.A.A.F. woman working for the Allied war effort.
Above is the front and back of a real photo postcard showing a French woman in uniform...it's dated 1945 and she has written that she is "thinking of you", signed Marie. It's especially interesting that she calls herself a "French Military girl" - perhaps she was sending this to an American or English soldier.
The last two images in this post are from Russia, a real photo postcard showing WWII era men and women and a 1956 continental size postcard of a soldier "ordered to the West" with a young woman saying good-bye.
Nurse images are plentiful. Although other images of women's activities during wartime are harder to find, they are an important visual record of history. An interesting collecting niche!