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The marking of the existing notion of womens capabilities and roles during wwi

Particularly significant here is the influence of contemporary mentalities and belief systems on ways of imagining the nation or empire. This, in turn, played a crucial part in the mobilisation and remobilisation of popular and institutional confidence in the just nature of the war and the prospects for final victory. Whereas previously women had been rejected, now they were in demand. To an ever increasing extent our industrial production, agriculture, business, trade and commerce, and with time even a great part of the education system and administration, lay in the hands of women.

Her decision to remember the outbreak of war in 1914 in this way is interesting for two reasons. In other words, she took the "patriotic" line that this was a war for the defence of the fatherland, and not, as Rosa Luxemburg 1871-1919 and Clara Zetkin 1857-1933representatives of the left in the SPD, had it, an imperialist war of aggression.

  • In 1943, the first class of flight nurses was created and composed of 39 army nurses;
  • Although he produced only one article on the subject, Wiltshire has been accorded a pivotal role in histories of shell shock;
  • Pimlico, 2002 , xxiii;
  • One area where women could not simply be seen as temporarily standing in for men was in the non-waged sphere of reproduction.

In particular, as Ute Daniel has argued, the evidence for a mass "self-mobilisation" of women is rather thin. However, opportunities such as these were rare and few women had the time, freedom and resources to seek them out.

A bigger problem for many working-class women was that the war initially took away their jobs. This was a particular issue for those who worked in industries such as clothing, textiles, footwear and tobacco which relied heavily on imported and now tightly rationed raw materials.

Many urban women found that they could no longer afford to rent their own homes and were forced to share with others or move in with relatives. All of these factors militated against a mass self-mobilisation of women for war. In fact, it was young men who were in the best position to "self-mobilise", as evidenced by the hundreds and thousands who volunteered for military service in the first months of the war.

By January 1915, the number of recruits stood at 4,357,934, a more than fivefold increase in the size of the German army since August 1914; by the end of 1915 this figure had risen to 9 million.

Few could envisage mobilisation as a process in which women might actually take part. One answer is the cultural importance attached to what became known as the "August experience" Augusterlebnisthe supposed feeling of elation and joy with which ordinary Germans met the outbreak of war in August 1914.

While historians have done much to question the extent of this war enthusiasm, there is no doubt that for some people, women as well as men, the "spirit of 1914" created a powerful sense of community and national belonging which was hard to let go, even after 1918. We abhor war now as we have done in the past. Suffice it to say that women, like men, were caught up in what Jeffrey Verhey has described as the "carnivalesque" atmosphere of the initial phase of the conflict and sought out an active role in the process of giving symbolic meaning to what were seen as decisive events in the history of the German nation.

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Standing in for Men or Standing Up for Women? For instance, the number of women employed in plants which had at least ten workers grew from 1,592,138 in 1913 to 2,319,674 in 1918.

As well as female labour, the German war effort relied heavily on the granting of periods of leave from military service to farmers at harvest time and to urban men in reserved occupations. Women workers were desired merely as temporary replacements, and, even then, only in cases where other solutions — use of "reclaimed" men from the front or POWs and civilian labourers from occupied countries — were not available.

Tanks in World War I

In the same period, by contrast, the number of women employed in textiles fell by over a third, and in clothing by almost one half. In some cases, wives literally stood in for their absent husbands, taking on their old jobs until they returned, a phenomenon most commonly seen in the transport industry. Preparations for the post-war demobilisation of the economy, which began well before the war ended, also included plans for mass layoffs of women workers to clear the decks for returning men. One area where women could not simply be seen as temporarily standing in for men was in the non-waged sphere of reproduction.

  • This temporary empowerment allowed women to dress differently, behave in different ways, and allow for different career choices;
  • When advised of the U;
  • Control of the Tigris River was crucial for ensuring that shallow-draughted river boats could supply the mainly Indian forces pushing northwards from Basra on the Persian Gulf;
  • The invasion of North Africa was only five days old when, on 13 November 1942, Lt.

Several hundred German-born women, whose husbands were interned as enemy alienswould quite literally have faced destitution were it not for the activities of two charities set up to help them. However, there was no change to the law which would have allowed the wives of internees to seek employment in war-related industries or claim separation allowances as the mothers of German-born and German-educated children.

  • The car industry, already used to vehicle mass production and having much more experience in vehicle layout, in 1916 designed the first practical light tanks, a class largely neglected by the British;
  • The mothers, wives, sisters, and fiancees of these men were not anxious to see them sent into combat either, and many people believed the WAACs were to blame for this possibility;
  • These five women served on General Eisenhower's staff successively throughout the North African, Mediterranean, and European campaigns.

Women were spared the threat of compulsion, but Wilhelm Groener 1867-1939the head of the new centralised War Office, went to great lengths to ensure better coordination of female labour recruitment. This agency was charged, among other things, with the development of systems for inspecting factories where women worked or might potentially work. Or, as the propaganda department of the 10th reserve army corps in Hanover put it in May 1917: The women of all classes, who have borne a quite considerable measure of worries and burdens, privations and sacrifices during the war, deserve special consideration in relation to our campaigns.

However, this was easier said than done.

By the summer of 1918, as the German offensive on the western front ran out of steam and the Allies began their counter-attack, there was little faith left in "patriotic instruction. As it became increasingly clear that the 1918 offensive had failed, women began writing to their husbands and sons begging them to abandon their posts in France and Belgium and "simply come home.

In early November 1918 the BDF called on German women to "put all their energies into defending [the fatherland] to the last", an appeal which fell on deaf ears. Could things have been any different? Leaving aside the pitfalls of hindsight, it may be instructive here to compare the First World War experience with that of the Second World War.

Recent research on the latter conflict has highlighted the existence of a much greater degree of female self-mobilisation on the home front, particularly in the sphere of voluntary work. This "race war", in turn, required a form of national mobilisation which was less obviously encumbered by a desire to defend the existing gender order.

The War from Within. Margaret Ries, Oxford 1997 [1989]. See also Kruse, Wolfgang: Die Ideologisierung des Krieges, in: Eine Welt von Feinden. Die Frauenfrage im Lichte des Sozialismus, Dresden 1930, p. Konsequent den unbequemen Weg gegangen. Politikerin, Frauenrechterlin, Journalisten, D.

Weibliche Kriegserfahrungen 1914 bis 1918 und 1939 bis 1945 im Kontrast, in: Erster Weltkrieg, Zweiter Weltkrieg. Krieg, Kriegserlebnis, Kriegserfahrung in Deutschland, Paderborn 2002, p. Frauen im Kriegsdienst 1914-1945, Stuttgart 1969, pp.

Germans into Nazis, Cambridge, MA 1998, pp. Geschichte des Alltags des deutschen Volkes. Mobilizing German Society for War, in: Great War, Total War. Combat and Mobilization on the Western Front, 1914-1918, Cambridge 2000, p. Women in German History. From Bourgeois Emancipation to Sexual Liberation, trans. Stuart McKinnon-Evans, Oxford 1997 [1986], p. Nursing During the First World War, in: Abrams, Lynn and Harvey, Elizabeth eds.

  1. This experiment proved successful, and the assignment of female secretaries and clerical workers to hospital ships occurred soon after. Then industrial rivalry began to play a detrimental role.
  2. Averting from the expected behavior paid a very high price. A single road, to Seres, supplied virtually half the British front, and collapsed rapidly under the traffic.
  3. But where does this leave the literary criticism, historical fiction, popular and academic histories that, according to the vision of shell shock and its histories set out here, have got it wrong? It is also important because historical narratives formulated within academe can have very real consequences in the outside world.
  4. If WAACs were captured, they had no protection under existing international agreements covering prisoners of war.

Gender Relations in German History. The Spirit of 1914.

Militarism, Myth and Mobilization in Germany, Cambridge 2000. Martial Spirit and Mobilization Myths. International Perspectives, 1914-19, Basingstoke 2007, pp. See also Quataert, Jean H.: Patriotic Communities in Germany, 1912-1918, in: Great War, Total War, pp. War Experiences in Rural Germany, 1914-1923, trans. Alex Skinner, Oxford 2007 [1997], pp. Eine Welt von Feinden, pp. Germany after the First World War, Oxford 1993, pp.

Women: Representations in Advertising

Auf dem Wege zum Arbeiter-Reformismus. Wall, Richard and Winter, Jay eds. The Upheaval of War. Family, Work and Welfare in Europe, 1914-1918, Cambridge 1988, pp. A Companion to World War I.

Higonnet, Margaret Randolph et al. British Civilian Internees in Germany. The Ruhleben Camp, 1914-18, Manchester 2008, pp. Army, Industry and Labor in Germany, 1914-1918, Princeton 1966, especially pp.

Also Daniel, The War from Within 1997, pp. Anti-Feminism, Nationalism and the German Right, 1914-1920. The Emancipation of Women. Joris de Bres, London 1973 [1969], p. Ziemann, War Experiences 2007, pp. The Feminist Movement in Germany, 1894-1933, London 1976, pp.

Politics, Culture and the Emplotment of the Weimar Republic, in: Volksgenossinnen an der Heimatfront. Women and the Nazi East. See also Stibbe, Matthew: In and Beyond the Racial State. Gender and National Socialism, 1933-1955, in: Bajohr, Frank and Wildt, Michael eds.