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W.W. I and French Women <br />(Vanity Fair, 1916)W.W. I and French Women
(Vanity Fair, 1916)
Here are five quick sketches by the French artist Rabajoi depicting the women of France fulfilling their various obligations as "Mariannes", as sweethearts and as family members.

Suggested reading: French Women and the First World War: War Stories of the Home Front

The Uniforms of Women War Workers <br />(Touchstone Magazine, 1918)The Uniforms of Women War Workers
(Touchstone Magazine, 1918)
Well-over 30,000 women participated in the United States war effort during World War One. The majority served as nurses, but there were also impressive numbers who volunteered to "do their bit" as drivers and telephone operators. Many chose to serve in the religious organizations, such as the Y.M.C.A., the Knights of Columbus or the Jewish Welfare Board. They all needed uniforms and that is what this well-illustrated article addresses. Never before had there been such a conflict requiring uniforms be cut in women's sizes, and this matter was not simply new to American women, it was a new day in human history as well.

"The background of women's service uniforms is war, war of the most terrible kind.
How unseemly any attempt to make the costume pleasing to the eye."

Click here to visit an interesting site dealing with the history of American servicewomen.

If you would like to read about the U.S. Army uniforms for women during W.W. II, click here...

Dressed for Duty: America's Women in Uniform, 1898-1973

A Woman War Worker Cartoon <br />(NY Times 1917)A Woman War Worker Cartoon
(NY Times 1917)
Attached is a cartoon that was created during the third year of the First World War by a British cartoonist who feared that women have, through the years, been loosing their feminine mojo - that charming thing that truly separates them from the males of the species.
Winning the War with Women <br />(Harper's Monthly, 1917)Winning the War with Women
(Harper's Monthly, 1917)
Ida Tarbell (1857 - 1944), one of the greats of American journalism, wrote this article about the policy changes that were evolving in Washington and recognized that the mobilization of women in the cause of defeating Germany was a solid step in the direction of victory:

"One of the many innovations of the National Council of Defense is an entirely original attempt to use the women power of the country."

Tarbell insightfully pointed out that up until that moment men and women had very little experience working together side by side.

Read a 1918 article about the women's city.

Uniformed American Women in World War I France <br />(Harper's Bazaar, 1918)Uniformed American Women in World War I France
(Harper's Bazaar, 1918)
Contrary to those trust-fund babies who lord over the HARPER'S BAZAAR of today, the editors and stylists of that magazine during World War I understood quite well the vital rolls American women were needed to fill while their country was struggling to attain proper footing in a state of total war. The attached file will show you seven photographs of various accessories recommended for W.W. I women war volunteers as well as two illustrations of various practical coats for winter.

From Amazon: Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy: Four Women Undercover in the Civil War

Remembering the American Dead <br />(The Atlantic Monthly, 1923)Remembering the American Dead
(The Atlantic Monthly, 1923)
Always stationed to the most forward field hospitals during America's five major campaigns, a former W.W. I nurse penned this moving reminiscence that recalled her experiences tending to the soldiers who slowly died in the army hospitals. Haunted by the memories of these dying boys, she asked her readers as to whether they feel the world has kept the promises made to those who sacrificed so much: is the France they died to protect a better place? is the country that demanded they fight a better place?

Click here for clip art depicting the nurses of World War One.

A Woman in the Salvation Army <br />(American Legion Monthly, 1928)A Woman in the Salvation Army
(American Legion Monthly, 1928)
This article tells the World War One story of Irene McIntyre, a Salvation Army volunteer who served at the front during the most bloody period of the war:

"In her two-hundred and fifty-six days under enemy fire, Irene McIntyre was twice gassed and twice received the unusual distinction of a personal citation in Army orders. She saw more of the war at close quarters than any other American woman. One of her citations read:"

"'Under fire of high explosives and gas, she established and conducted huts that were noted for their good cheer and hospitality. Her courage and devotion to her voluntary work were a splendid inspiration to the troops.'"

1920s Prohibition created a criminal climate
that appealed to more women than you ever might have suspected...

Read about the Women Marines of W.W. II HERE.

Had Germany Really Deployed Women Soldiers?  <br />(The Stars and Stripes, 1919)Had Germany Really Deployed Women Soldiers?
(The Stars and Stripes, 1919)
This paragraph was lifted from a longer article regarding the battle-savvy Native Americans of World War One and it supports the claims made in 1918 by a number of anonymous allied POW's who reported seeing female soldiers in German machine gun crews toward the close of the war. The article appeared after the Armistice and this was a time when The Stars and Stripes editors were most likely to abstain from printing patriotic hooey.

If you would like to read another article about women combatants in W.W. II, click here.

The Women's Overseas Corps <br />(The Stars and Stripes, 1918)The Women's Overseas Corps
(The Stars and Stripes, 1918)
"Five thousand women are to be brought from the United States to be a part of the American Expeditionary Forces...The Women's Overseas Corps (WOCS) will consist of companies of 50 women each. The members of the WOC will be under soldierly discipline and wear uniforms...It is not expected that they will march in formation or observe the formalities of the salute."

These women were recruited by Miss Elsie Gunther of the Labor Bureau in order to relieve the men posted to the Service of Supply of their clerical duties for service at the front; in light of the fact that the war ended six weeks later it is unlikely that the these women ever arrived.

Russia's Women Soldiers of W.W. I <br />(Literary Digest, 1917)Russia's Women Soldiers of W.W. I
(Literary Digest, 1917)
The attached news article from 1917 reported on the a Russian combat unit that consisted entirely of women soldiers called "The Battalion of Death":

"The Battalion of Death presents a new aspect of feminism which, while the wisdom and economy of its extension are consistently questioned the press is non the less serving the purpose of arousing its burning patriotic faith, something like shame in the men soldiers of Russia."

"The courage of the Battalion of Death when the actual test came is the subject of many enthusiastic Petrograd dispatches. They behaved splendidly under fire, penetrating into a first-line trench of the Germans and brought back prisoners."

The Woman with the First Division <br />(American Legion Monthly, 1930)The Woman with the First Division
(American Legion Monthly, 1930)
Twelve years after the end of the war, former Y.M.C.A. volunteer Francis Grulick wrote this moving account of her days as a canteen worker in France. She had vivid and colorful memories of her days in the forward positions bringing some measure of comfort to the men of the U.S. Army First Division, to whom she was devoted. She was with them at Gondrecourt, Bonnvillers, Boucq, Cantigny and Soissons. She filled their canteens, served them lemonade, poured their coffee, cooked their meals and also saw to it that cigarettes were plentiful. By the time the First Division arrived in Coblenz for occupation duty, she recognized that the unit was composed almost entirely of replacements and that she was the only witness to the First Divisions earliest days in France.

Is your name Anderson?

W.W. I and American Women <br />(Pageant Magazine, 1951)W.W. I and American Women
(Pageant Magazine, 1951)
Here is a segment from a longer article published in 1951 by an anonymous American woman who wished to be known to her readers only as a women who had "grown up with the Century" (born in 1900). In this column she insisted that it was the First World War that served as the proving ground where American women showed that they were just as capable as their brothers - and thus deserving of a voice in government.
''The Woman Who Took A Soldier's Job'' <br />(American Legion Weekly, 1919)''The Woman Who Took A Soldier's Job''
(American Legion Weekly, 1919)
"Two years ago when the men began to drop out of the industrial world at the call to the colors their women associates gradually slipped into their places, and in the majority of cases effectively filled them... Those men have now nearly all come back to claim their old, or better jobs. What of the girl, then, in the soldier's job? What is she going to do?"
Her Armistice Poem <br />(American Legion Weekly, 1921)Her Armistice Poem
(American Legion Weekly, 1921)
At 11:00 a.m., November 11, 1918, an American woman volunteer was toiling away at her Service of Supply base in Tours when peace broke out all over the place. When she was asked to recall that moment three years later for the editors of THE AMERICAN LEGION WEEKLY - she wrote down the attached verses -
W.W. I and British Women <br />(Collier's Magazine, 1916)W.W. I and British Women
(Collier's Magazine, 1916)
"Woman's hour has come! One of the splendid things that have come out of the bloody carnage of war to challenge the admiration of the world is the heroic exhibition of physical strength and courage shown by the women of the belligerent countries. They are doing more than merely substituting at men's work. In England they are winning their struggle for equality with men."