War Gum: "Jap Planes Bomb Yellow River Bridge"
War Gum: "Jap Planes Bomb Yellow River Bridge" (No. 85)
Text on reverse of card: "During the early part of February, 1938, advance squadrons of Japanese war planes bombed the famous Yellow River Bridge to balk any Chinese retreat. The Yellow River Bridge was the longest steel bridge in China. Through its destruction the Japanese effectively kept the Chinese at a safe distance from their forces, but at the same time made it necessary for Japanese engineers to get busy a little later throwing up a pontoon for crossing with supplies and troops. When the Yellow River Bridge was blown up, notice had been served that Chengchow, which was bombed on the fourteenth of February, would be subject to a second attack. But Chinese rivermen, caught in midstream at the time the death ships roared into view, became innocent victims of the onslaught. Their fragile sampans were splintered by the rain of steel and their butchered bodies were flung headlong into the icy waters.
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