War Gum: "Tokio Flotilla Runs Machine Gun Gauntlet"
War Gum: "Tokio Flotilla Runs Machine Gun Gauntlet" (No. 83)
Text on reverse of card: "A Japanese naval flotilla consisting of heavy destroyers, small submarine chasers and high-speed armored launches ran a gauntlet of Chinese machine gun batteries spotted along the middle Yangtze, on February 22, 1938. Actually, more real damage was done to the machine gun nests than accrued to the well-equipped Tokio ships. A carefully placed shell often wiped out an entire Chinese position! Once past the deadly but, in this case, ineffectual machine gunners who sacrificed themselves in a last stand against the invading armada, the Japs pressed forward unretarded. The successful push carried the spear-head of Japan's advance to within thirty miles of Anking, capital of Anhwei Province. This brought the Japanese naval forces some 65 miles upriver beyond Wuhu, captured by the Mikado's men early in December, 1937.
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