War Gum: "River Gate is Death Trap for Chinese in Rout"
War Gum: "River Gate is Death Trap for Chinese in Rout" (No. 78)
Text on reverse of card: "As the Japanese net tightened on Nanking on December 12, 1937, Chinese soldiers went crazy with fear. All knew that to be found in possession of a uniform or a gun meant death. Uniforms were discarded as the retreating soldiers ran through the city, and rifles were broken up and thrown away. The narrow opening through the river-gate sand-bag barricade loomed as the only means of escape. It turned out to be a death trap for many! In the mad rush some stumbled and fell under the pounding feet of the milling crowd. Others were shot down by cursing comrades. Guards attempting to stem the tide set fire to the superstructure of the gate, but the frenzied soldiers pushed through the flames undaunted. At the river, junks, sampams, launches were pressed into service. Many men were drowned in the feverish manning of the boats. Others attempting to swim across to Pukow were swept away in the tide.
To know the HORRORS OF WAR is to want PEACE. This is one of a series of 240 True Stories of Modern Warfare. Save to get them all. Copyright 1938, Gum, Inc., Phila., Pa."
"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