War Gum: "The Music of Death"
War Gum: "The Music of Death" (No. 104)
Text on reverse of card: "A new form of devilish strategy was introduced into the desperate fighting north of Nanking when hard-pressed Japanese forces began using an old phonograph to lure Chinese guerrilla soldiers into death traps! Early in March, 1938, the Japs had been at a loss how to combat the slashing attacks by swift-striking Chinese guerrilla armies from the north until one of the Mikado's clever commanders had a phonograph brought from one of their concentration camps and concealed in the marshes along with a machine gun battalion. Lured by the strange, seductive strains of 'Peanut Vendor' and 'Abdula Bulbul Armeer' the curious Chinese abandoned all caution and rushed toward the source of music, only to be cut down by the deadly spray of steel! Occasionally one of the guerrillas would miraculously get through the line of fire and an intense hand-to-hand encounter would be waged to the death...terrible in its ferocity.
To know the HORRORS OF WAR is to want PEACE. This is one of 240 True Stories of Modern Warfare. Save to get them all and compete for 1000 Cash Prizes. Ask your dealer. Copyright 1938, GUM, INC., Phila. Pa. Printed in USA"
"Bubble-gum cards emerged from their wrappers, smelling of powdered sugar, in comic-book colors with armies and soldiers, tanks and planes, blood and gore...There was a message on each to justify their acquisition to the parents who provided the pennies: "To know the HORRORS OF WAR is to want PEACE." We kids hardly noticed....
A curious, comic-book war survives on the cards, the dream visions of gum-company copywriters. Whether the scenes were gruesome or glorious, the colors were always as bright as the outlook for victory. The enemy was always vicious and often cowardly, while our side was always brave and fought like heroes."
Stanley Weintraub, "The Bubble Gum Wars," in MHQ
Courtesy of Carl Sheeley