wartime history


Time for FRIDAY FASHION FACT! Today’s topic is a bit more conceptual than the Facts I’ve done in the past, but I think it is very important to recognize the over-arching factors that influence fashion in order to fully understand how fashion has developed. This is a bit difficult to explain in such a small space, so bear with me, and remember that this is all much more complex than I lay it out to be.

Throughout history, the biggest influence on fashion has clearly been technology. The next biggest influence, though, has been war. War causes huge divisions between people. It drains resources. It pits agenda versus agenda, ideology versus ideology. It has the ability to effect every aspect of life. It can change the world, so it should come as no surprise that it changes fashion.

In several of my past posts, I have mentioned specific wars being an influence on fashion- most commonly the French Revolution, World War I, and World War II. While most wars have an impact on fashion, these three have had a significantly bigger impact that the rest. The reason for the World War’s having such a large impact is obvious- it’s right there in the name. These wars spanned the globe, and wider geography means wider impact.

The French Revolution, however, theoretically seems as though it would effect only France. Yet the effect of war is rarely contained only to the country in which the war takes place. In terms of fashion, during the era of the French Revolution, France was the epicenter of fashion. There are still many people who would debate that France is still the fashion capitol of the world, but in the 18th and 19th centuries, there was no debate. France reigned supreme on the style front. If the French wore a style, the rest of the western world quickly followed suit.

So why do wars have such a strong impact on fashion? Well, every war is different, so it varies from war to war. Overall, though, is due to two factors. One is because war tends to be a huge strain on resources, with vast amounts of funds and materials donated to the military effort. Secondly, war pits (at least) two groups against each other, groups with different values and goals. A person’s value system, lifestyle, etc. is often reflected in their clothing. The values of the prevailing side often seeps into the fashion of the people. Between these two factors, war often means a dramatic lifestyle change not only for the soldiers off fighting, but for those they leave at home. A change in lifestyle results in a change of dress. This is why changes in fashion that may take decades or more during peaceful times can occur over the course of just a few years during wartime.

An important thing to keep in mind, though, is that fashion does not change overnight, just like the wars that influence it do not happen overnight. As the world starts to shift, conflict rises, and war is imminent, fashion reflects the changing world. People often think that women went straight from wearing elaborate rococo gowns, complete with wide panniers, to simple cylindrical muslin dresses. Or they seem to ignore the era between structured Edwardian dresses and the untailored flapper look (though to be fair, Downton Abby has had a huge impact in changing that.) The reality is that aspects of the new styles are evident in fashion in the years leading up to the wars.

Of course, there are countless factors which have contributed to the development of fashion throughout the centuries (and don’t worry, I will cover as many as possible in upcoming Facts! Plus I’ll be sure to go into more detail about the wars I talked about in this post.) Just remember, the next time you’re looking at historical fashion and see a dramatic shift, take a look at what was happening in the world at that time!

Want to learn more about war and fashion? Check out these books:

Costume and Fashion: A Concise History, by Laver, de la Haye, and Tucker

History of World Costume and Fashion, by Daniel Delis Hill

Have a question about fashion history that you want answered in the next FRIDAY FASHION FACT? Just click the ASK button at the top of the page!


For the last Woman Crush Wednesday of Women’s History Month, a meditation on the roles - real and symbolic - that American women have played in wartime propaganda. Click the images for information about the posters and the collections they come from. 


Dutch Ms Oranje. ( later known as Angelina Lauro, was a passenger liner, a wartime hospital ship and finally a cruise ship that was burnt out and subsequently lost while being towed for scrap. She sank in a storm in the mid-Pacific, on 24 September 1979) 

The ship was launched 1938 by former Dutch Queen Wilhelmina named “Oranje” in honour of the Royal House of Orange

August 3, 1917 - Third Ypres: Rain and Poor Progress Compel Haig to Postpone Attack

Pictured - Of all the war’s battlefields, the endless mud of Passchendaele may have been the worst.

In a rare piece of wartime history, the newspapers in London, Paris, Washington D.C., Berlin, and Vienna all reported victory on August 1, 1917. That was the first day after the Third Battle of Ypres opened. One French and two British armies had attacked the Germans at Flanders, hoping to finally break out of the Ypres Salient. General Haig’s chief of intelligence, Glaswegian John Charteris, reported only good news back to the government: German armies “visibly cracking,” “Moderately good progress,” etc.

On the ground things looked different. The Germans had not yet even committed their reserves. Meanwhile a horrendous downpour, even by the standards of the Western Front, opened up on July 31 in the afternoon and would hardly relent for the rest of the battle. An English nurse near the front wrote in her diary about the “Soaking hopeless rain, the worst luck that could happen. Poor Sir Douglas Haig…”

Flanders clay turned into mud and bogged down tanks and trucks. Mules sank up to their heads. Bringing up ammo and bringing back the wounded became Herculean tasks. Rifle squads fought over German pillboxes in the quagmire, storming them with grenades and light machine guns. Hand-to-hand fights were frequent. But every time a German position fell, another one right behind it would open up on the conquerors, forcing an endless fight over places with names like Château Wood, which were uniformly just more patches of shell-holes and mud.

anonymous asked:

What do you think about Dany burning the majority of the Reach's food supplies on the caravan? I feel like strategy and optics lacked in this battle. Plays into Cersei's whole xenophobic one sided story. The burning of men by dragons playing to the trauma of the kingdoms under other Targaryens. I know its war hence "The Spoils of War." War is messy but this strikes fear not loyalty into her conquest.

I don’t think strategy lacked at all. do you remember what happened the last time the people of KL lacked food? the king and queen mother were attacked, sansa was almost killed, the high septon was killed, a lady was sexually assaulted, two/three lords were killed, etc. the people of the reach werent to blame despite it being their fault that the people lacked food, joffrey was to blame. he was the king of the seven kingdoms and it was his responsibility to find food for them, no matter what. so when dany destroyed the food supplies it won’t be her responsibility- they are at war- it will be the queen’s responsibility to find more food for them, no matter what. 

by destroying the food source dany is adding fuel to the fire of the peoples unrest toward cersei. they won’t support her, they won’t want to fight for her, etc. it’s a common wartime tactic throughout history, with mostly positive results. it’s happened during the french revolution, during the american civil war, in 20th century egypt, even presently in venezuela. it’s pretty brilliant actually. 

At 8:30, I fired three shots into the air and put up a flag with “Merry Christmas” on it on the parapet. He [a German] put up a sheet with “Thank You” on it, and the German captain appeared on the parapet. We both bowed and saluted and got down into our respective trenches, and he fired two shots into the air, and the war was on again.
—  Capt. Charles “Buffalo Bill” Stockwell of the Second Royal Welch Fusiliers on the end of the Christmas Truce of 1914

No Survivors.” Painting by Jack Sullivan, of a German U-Boat after the sinking of British cargo ship Torrington on April 8, 1917. The German sailors destroyed one of the lifeboats and then deliberately submerged while twenty of the steamship’s passengers clung to the side, drowning them all. This violation spurred further Allied indignation at Germany’s wartime practices. 

Fortunate Resolutions of In-Field Complications a.k.a. Dumb Luck

A collaboration for @capreversebb Captain America Reverse Big Bang 2017​

Art by Samthebirdbae (Tumblr)
Fic by Lasenby_Heathcote (Ao3) / Lasenbyphoenix (Tumblr)

Artwork Rating: G
Fic Rating: PG
Word Count: 7.5k
Relationships: Steve/Bucky (mentioned)
Warnings: References of battles, POWs, poison, emesis | Inuenndo | Innacurate wartime history and geography
The mission was simple. The mission wasn’t anything at all. We didn’t have to fight, we didn’t have to break in or steal anything or blow anything up - or at least nothing specific. The mission was simply to create a lot of bluster in the wrong direction. But then, the mission doesn’t always go according to plan.

Read on AO3

46 photos of life at a Japanese internment camp, taken by Ansel Adams
In 1943, legendary photographer Ansel Adams visited Manzanar, a Japanese internment camp in California's Sierra Nevada mountains.
By Brian Jones

Even at the time, this policy was opposed by many Americans, including renowned photographer Ansel Adams, who in the summer of 1943 made his first visit to Manzanar War Relocation Camp in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

Invited by the warden, Adams sought to document the living conditions of the camp’s inhabitants.

His photos were published in a book titled “Born Free and Equal: The Story of Loyal Japanese-Americans” in 1944, with an accompanying exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art.