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Lecture 11

History 2179 Lecture Notes - Lecture 11: Military Simulation, Ottoman Empire, Central Powers


Department
History
Course Code
HIS 2179
Professor
Andrew Iarocci
Lecture
11

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11 - SEXUALITY IN WWI
Romantic liaisons between soldiers and civilians (not strictly romantic, but more in terms of using sex as a means)
At home: British soldiers al had girls back at home, but once they are delivered overseas, their behaviours change
Open warfare less consensual sexual encounters; do not have time to establish a consensual relationship with local civilians
trench warfare more consensual sexual encounters
-trench warfare lasted longer, and by definition, static (located in the same place)
-although the soldiers would only stay on rotation for a few weeks, they would eventually come back for rotation, allowing
them to establish relationships with local civilians
-more Bulgarian civilian documents documenting relationships between civilians and soldiers
-billeting areas & cities and towns on the Line of Communication provided opportunity between soldier & civilian interactions
By “consensual”, it includes professional prostitutes (money involved) and foreign refugees-turned-prostitutes (needed
protection and provide for children)
amateur prostitutes provided more services than professional prostitutes & they were unregulated by the government
a section of military police was responsible for regulating & maintaining a balance of interaction between amateur prostitutes
and soldiers
-sexually transmitted diseases hospitalized, would cause a reduce in men-power must limit the interaction
-morale if the opportunity for sex was completely prohibited, then there would be uproar within the units must maintain a
certain level of interaction
-therefore, the commanders’ voice would change depending on the audience towards the home-front: promoted that
soldiers would be protected from alcohol and prostitutes (protected their souls even though they could die anytime on the
battle front)
Prostitution
Refugees as amateur prostitutes
-no pre-war prostitution experiences, only began practicing prostitutes when the war begun
-often the target of military regulation: believed to be the chief spreader of STD, unregulated & undocumented
Professional prostitutes
-French army: maisons de tolerance expanded during war time, considered as a part of the war effort to boost morale
-the British soldiers didn’t have official military brothals, therefore more British soldiers turned to amateur prostitutes during
a period of time, British governments even allowed British soldiers to go to French brothals, but was eventually discontinued
due to public outcry
-similar official brothals were established in Austro-Hungarian Empire ex: ticket
-Official professional prosititues & interaction between prostitiutes and soldiers were regulated, tested, and controlled
Sexually transmitted diseases Venereal Diseases, Gonorrhea (VDG)
-British: 9000 beds had to be set aside to treat VDG within BEF (large ratio of beds required, representing a large issue)
-Canadian: 6 times more soldiers contracted VDG than British soldiers resulted in a great decrease of men-power fighting
on the battle field (lost in combat + contracted VDG)
Why???
-Canadian soldiers were paid more than the British soldiers, so they had more money to spend on prostitutes
-Canadians were fighting on a battlefield that’s further away from home than the British soldiers no close supervisions
when they go on leaves
- negatively impacted the army manpower
Marriage
wounded, Blighty, marriage referring to that most soldiers would return home and live a normal life
Blighty = slang for “home” in England
-also referred to a wound serious enough to be released from military service, but not serious enough to be considered as
disabled
-ex: a knee injury that is disabled enough to be unfit for military service, but not serious enough to be incapable of living a
normal life
Attitudes towards marriage: became more careless
-popular opinion between soldiers: even if it was a bad decision, they probably wouldn’t live long enough to regret it
anyways
-however, that attitude became an issue for the government the relatives of the soldiers would receive pensions when the
solider died oversea or divorce from their spouse, the war becomes more expensive in the government’s point of view
-prevention: solders must go through military channels & get consent from superiors before getting married governments
preferred the soldiers to enter the war single and leave the war single or dead
-Even larger restriction of marriage between individuals of two nationalities
Marriages in WWI were less than those during WWII
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