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What was the ratio women to men after World War 2 in the Soviet Union

What was the ratio women to men after World War 2 in the Soviet Union

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I can imagine that after World War 2 the ratio of women versus men changed drastically.

During World War 2, Soviet casualties amounted to over 20,000,000, and as military casualties were almost all men I would think there were a lot more women in the Soviet Union than men.

Is there any recorded information on this subject? If not, is there any other country that has data available on this subject, e.g. Germany?

According to this article the ratio rose from 1.10 to about 1.54 (ratio of men/women fell from 0.91 to about 0.65) between 1941 and 1946 in the draft-age group (people born around 1887 to 1927), which was the most affected by the war losses.

Other age groups were less affected, so I'd say that the overall ratio would be around 1.3-1.25 (0.75-0.8 men/women).

The Soviet population in 1941 was 196,716,000. In 1946, it was 170,548,000.[1] That's a difference of 26,168,000 people. According to a study published by the Russian Academy of Science[2], there were 12,300,000 births and 11,900,000 natural deaths during war, so the populational decrease must be entirely attributed to war deaths. Considering 400,000 births in excess of natural deaths, the war deaths must have been around 26,600,000, which is the number accepted by the Russian government. Of these casualties, 8,700,000 were military casualties[3].

The upper limit of the female/male proportion, so, would be the case that all 26,600,000 casualties were masculine. In such a case, the proportion would be, if we accept a prewar proportion of 1.05/1, given by the following:

A. Prewar population: Females 103,276,000 - males 93,440,000

B. Births: Females 6,150,000 - males 6,150,000

C. Natural deaths: Females - 6,100,000 - males 5,800,000

D. War deaths: Males - 26,600,000

E. Postwar population (A+B-C-D) - Females 103,326,000 - males 67,190,000

or around 1.54 female per male.

The lower limit, on the other hand, would be

A. Prewar population: Females 103,276,000 - males 93,440,000

B. Births: Females 6,150,000 - males 6,150,000

C. Natural deaths: Females - 6,100,000 - males 5,800,000

D. War civilian deaths: Females 9,200,000 - males - 8,700,000

E. War military deaths: Males 8,700,000

F. Postwar population (A+B-C-D-E) - Females 94,126,000 - males 76,390,000

or around 1.23 female per male.

The actual figures would be somewhere in the middle, as at least some subcategories of war civilian deaths (for instance, deaths of forced laborers) would be predominantly male, and not proportional to the sex ratio of the population.

[1] Data is from Wikipedia page on Demographics_of_the_Soviet_Union, where they are attributed to Andreev, E.M., et al., Naselenie Sovetskogo Soiuza, 1922-1991. Moscow, Nauka, 1993. ISBN 5-02-013479-1. Due to Wikipedia's basic unreliability, it would be necessary to check the source to see if the numbers match; unfortunately I don't read Russian.

[2] Again I am quoting from Wikipedia. The study is Andreev, EM; Darski, LE; Kharkova, TL (11 September 2002). "Population dynamics: consequences of regular and irregular changes". In Lutz, Wolfgang; Scherbov, Sergei; Volkov, Andrei. Demographic Trends and Patterns in the Soviet Union Before 1991 Routledge. ISBN 978-1-134-85320-5. I couldn't find it online, so the same caveats apply, perhaps less sternly, as the source is in English.

[3]Wikipedia attributes this information to Krivosheev, G. F. (1997). Soviet Casualties and Combat Losses in the Twentieth Century. Greenhill Books. ISBN 978-1-85367-280-4.

After Winning World War II, The Soviet Army Raped Its Way Across Germany

The lawless Red Army looted, killed, and raped its way through Germany, fueled by revenge and alcohol.

“Trophy Goods” For Mother Russia

In addition to its lack of intervention, the Soviet government also officially sanctioned the appropriation of “trophy goods” by its troops. As demobilized Red Army soldiers returned home during the summer of 1945, they were required to pass through customs controls. To avoid declaring their plunder at the border, they began selling everything off in Poland before crossing back into the USSR. Details of this situation reached Stalin that summer in a report emphasizing the fact that the current customs requirements benefited “speculators of Polish border towns” and not returning Soviet soldiers. A resolution dated June 14, 1945, corrected the situation by lifting the customs controls on returning Red Army troops, thereby opening the flood gates for “trophy goods” to flow into Mother Russia. The looted property that subsequently entered the Soviet Union in immeasurable volume included watches, motorcycles, pianos, radios, furniture, paintings, cloth, and gold. This ruling remained in effect through 1949, ensuring that plunder would flow eastward in great profusion for many years to come.

Special demobilization train No. 45780 is a perfect example of the extreme to which this situation could be taken. The train traveled from Vienna to Uzbekistan in September 1945 carrying demobilized veterans and an abundance of loot from the occupied West. One officer on the train brought more than 2,000 pounds of “luggage” while one of the enlisted soldiers had a “large number of suitcases and bags” in addition to dozens of gold watches worn on both of his arms.

To explain why he was wearing all these watches, the soldier said, “It is more secure to have them on the arms because the suitcases might get stolen.”

As it turns out, Homo sovieticus could loot a comrade just as easily as he had looted an Austrian civilian. With each trainload of returning Red Army veterans, a trainload of “trophy goods” from the West flowed into Uzbekistan. Those “trophy goods” quickly ended up for sale because, upon returning to the culture of scarcity at home, demobilized Uzbek veterans had to begin exchanging their “trophy goods” for the material necessities of civilian life. This situation meant that the markets in Tashkent in the Soviet Far East were as full of “foreign things” in 1945 as the markets in Moscow.

Lawlessness at Home

Soviet veterans did not leave their lawless impulses behind once they departed occupied territory. In December 1945, a train full of wounded and sick soldiers departed Germany on its way to Novosobirsk in Siberia. While on a station stop along the way in Poland, some of the veterans left the train, beat up the stationmaster, and then raped his wife and daughter. When the Polish Army attempted to arrest them, they fought back and escaped back to the train, which then departed on its continuing journey to the East. When it returned to Russian soil soon thereafter, the thugs continued to behave exactly as they had on foreign soil.

A few days later, at the station in Kropacevo, Chelyabinskaya Oblast, in the southern Urals, the same troops got into more trouble. There they broke into a shop near the station, kicked out the salespeople, and proceeded to steal 7,000 rubles and five gallons of vodka. They then scampered back onto their train just as it departed the station, once again making a successful escape. Authorities ultimately caught up to the perpetrators at another station farther down the line and made 22 arrests. The investigation that followed revealed the string of crimes that followed the train’s route all the way home. In addition to what they had done in Poland and at Kropacevo, these same criminals had committed 30 robberies on the train and even raped a nurse serving on it.

The Soviet government that had encouraged lawless behavior in the occupied territories now had to deal with the monster it had created in the form of violent and criminally mischievous returnees. The fact that demobilized Red Army soldiers continued to behave as a lawless rabble on Russian soil can probably be explained by the mixed and confusing signals they received. At one time, the government exhorted them to follow a lawful code at another time, the government looked the other way.

Mixed Signals From the Soviet Government

The failure of Soviet authorities to intervene in the face of widespread looting and other crimes stands in contrast with the government’s repeated attempts to promote responsible and appropriate behavior outside the Soviet Union. On entering Poland in 1944, a Red Army officer recalled being told that they were doing so as “liberators” and that looting and rape would not be tolerated. A 26-year-old kolkhoznik and Army veteran who remained in Germany after demobilization to work as a shoemaker was required to take an oath swearing to conduct himself “properly” and “obey the authorities” at all times. In this oath, he also had to pledge that he would not loot. The soldiers simply ignored the state’s exhortations and went on with the looting.

The image that emerges here of a Soviet government unable to control its people or enforce law and order does not look like the monolithic, all-powerful police state presented in the totalitarian/traditionalist model of Sovietology that flourished throughout much of the Cold War. Instead, the revisionist approach, with its emphasis on the individual agency of independent actors working within the Soviet system in pursuit of self-enrichment, seems the more fitting explanation.

Rape and Alcohol

The Soviet government also sent mixed signals to the troops about the crime of rape—something the Stalinist government euphemistically referred to as an “immoral event.” Although the state actively repressed sexuality, those supposedly responsible for discipline actively turned a blind eye on sexual assault and permitted it to become as commonplace as looting. Whenever the Red Army handed out punishment in relation to a rape, the punishment was in response to a soldier contracting venereal disease—not the sexual assault itself.

Appropriate or officially sanctioned sexual expression scarcely existed in the modern Soviet state, driving sex underground for the average citizen. After all, the good socialist worker devoted his energies to production or reading Pravda, not to the bourgeois pursuit of sexual gratification. To the Stalinist dictatorship, even the Venus de Milo was deemed “pornographic.” This extremely repressive environment made Soviet troops, who were far from home and enduring the hardships of combat, a ticking time bomb. Also, unlike other armies of World War II, the Red Army did not condone the establishment of field brothels for its servicemen.

Their bottled-up sexual energy, therefore, exploded violently as soon as the opportunity of hapless victims presented itself. In this respect, the crime of rape became a collective experience for both the victims and the perpetrators. One Soviet report stated that the Red Army raped every German woman who remained behind in East Prussia—young and old alike. The same report indicated that Red Army soldiers typically raped women in gangs. According to the British historian Anthony Beevor, in the city of Schpaleiten, for example, a German woman named Emma Korn endured repeated sexual assaults at the hands of Russian troops: “On 3 February frontline troops of the Red Army entered the town. They came into the cellar where we were hiding and pointed their weapons at me and the other two women and ordered us into the yard. In the yard 12 soldiers in turn raped me. Other soldiers did the same to my two neighbours. The following night six drunken soldiers broke into our cellar and raped us in front of the children. On 5 February, three soldiers came, and on 6 February eight drunken soldiers also raped and beat us.”

After the war, a Ukrainian auto mechanic described one of these gang rapes as a scene where 20 well-armed officers and men carried out a sexual assault on a 14-year-old German girl in a single “indescribable,” alcohol-fueled attack.

The abundance of alcohol became a major factor wherever the Red Army went and contributed significantly to the epidemic scale of gang rape. As the war crossed into East Prussia, East Pomerania, and Upper and Lower Silesia, German military authorities made a critical error in judgment by choosing not to destroy stockpiles of alcohol in the approaching Red Army’s path. The rationale behind this decision held that widespread drunkenness would prevent the Soviets from fighting at their maximum strength, but the result was actually just tragedy.

In Germany, Red Army soldiers by the thousands found liquor in quantities beyond their wildest dreams and began drinking with gluttonous enthusiasm. Their mass consumption celebrated the end of a long, brutal war and also gave them the courage to break free from the intense sexual repression of Stalinist Soviet society. One anonymous diarist writing about the fall of Berlin many years later concluded that “if the Russians hadn’t found so much alcohol all over, half as many rapes would have taken place.”

A Mixture of Postwar Accounts

Although the volatile formula of sexual repression, lax discipline, and intoxicating spirits in plentiful supply produced “immoral events” on a shocking and unprecedented scale, many Soviet veterans denied the reports. One Red Army veteran remembered, “In the Russian Army of Liberation there was very little rape,” especially in his company, because they “all had girlfriends.” Another described relations with the “peasants” in his unit’s area as “on the whole good,” and that “rape, etc. were punished severely.”


Through the period from the armistice on 11 November 1918 until the signing of the peace treaty with Germany on 28 June 1919, the Allies maintained the naval blockade of Germany that had begun during the war. As Germany was dependent on imports, it is estimated that 523,000 civilians had lost their lives. [1] N. P. Howard, of the University of Sheffield, says that a further quarter of a million more died from disease or starvation in the eight-month period following the conclusion of the conflict. [2] The continuation of the blockade after the fighting ended, as author Robert Leckie wrote in Delivered From Evil, did much to "torment the Germans . driving them with the fury of despair into the arms of the devil." [ citation needed ] The terms of the Armistice did allow food to be shipped into Germany, but the Allies required that Germany provide the means (the shipping) to do so. The German government was required to use its gold reserves, being unable to secure a loan from the United States. [ citation needed ]

Historian Sally Marks claims that while "Allied warships remained in place against a possible resumption of hostilities, the Allies offered food and medicine after the armistice, but Germany refused to allow its ships to carry supplies". Further, Marks states that despite the problems facing the Allies, from the German government, "Allied food shipments arrived in Allied ships before the charge made at Versailles". [3] This position is also supported by Elisabeth Gläser who notes that an Allied task force, to help feed the German population, was established in early 1919 and that by May 1919 " Germany [had] became the chief recipient of American and Allied food shipments". Gläser further claims that during the early months of 1919, while the main relief effort was being planned, France provided food shipments to Bavaria and the Rhineland. She further claims that the German government delayed the relief effort by refusing to surrender their merchant fleet to the Allies. Finally, she concludes that "the very success of the relief effort had in effect deprived the [Allies] of a credible threat to induce Germany to sign the Treaty of Versailles. [4] However, it is also the case that for eight months following the end of hostilities, the blockade was continually in place, with some estimates that a further 100,000 casualties among German civilians due to starvation were caused, on top of the hundreds of thousands which already had occurred. Food shipments, furthermore, had been entirely dependent on Allied goodwill, causing at least in part the post-hostilities irregularity. [5] [6]

After the Paris Peace Conference of 1919, the signing of the Treaty of Versailles on 28 June 1919, between Germany on the one side and France, Italy, Britain and other minor allied powers on the other, officially ended war between those countries. Other treaties ended the relationships of the United States and the other Central Powers. Included in the 440 articles of the Treaty of Versailles were the demands that Germany officially accept responsibility "for causing all the loss and damage" of the war and pay economic reparations. The treaty drastically limited the German military machine: German troops were reduced to 100,000 and the country was prevented from possessing major military armaments such as tanks, warships, armored vehicles and submarines.

Historians continue to argue about the impact the 1918 flu pandemic had on the outcome of the war. It has been posited that the Central Powers may have been exposed to the viral wave before the Allies. The resulting casualties having greater effect, having been incurred during the war, as opposed to the allies who suffered the brunt of the pandemic after the Armistice. When the extent of the epidemic was realized, the respective censorship programs of the Allies and Central Powers limited the public's knowledge regarding the true extent of the disease. Because Spain was neutral, their media was free to report on the Flu, giving the impression that it began there. This misunderstanding led to contemporary reports naming it the "Spanish flu." Investigative work by a British team led by virologist John Oxford of St Bartholomew's Hospital and the Royal London Hospital, identified a major troop staging and hospital camp in Étaples, France as almost certainly being the center of the 1918 flu pandemic. A significant precursor virus was harbored in birds, and mutated to pigs that were kept near the front. [8] The exact number of deaths is unknown but about 50 million people are estimated to have died from the influenza outbreak worldwide. [9] [10] In 2005, a study found that, "The 1918 virus strain developed in birds and was similar to the 'bird flu' that in the 21st century spurred fears of another worldwide pandemic, yet proved to be a normal treatable virus that did not produce a heavy impact on the world's health." [11]

The dissolution of the German, Russian, Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman empires created a number of new countries in eastern Europe and the Middle East. [12] Some of them, such as Czechoslovakia and Poland, had substantial ethnic minorities who were sometimes not fully satisfied with the new boundaries that cut them off from fellow ethnics. For example, Czechoslovakia had Germans, Poles, Ruthenians and Ukrainians, Slovaks and Hungarians. The League of Nations sponsored various Minority Treaties in an attempt to deal with the problem, but with the decline of the League in the 1930s, these treaties became increasingly unenforceable. One consequence of the massive redrawing of borders and the political changes in the aftermath of the war was the large number of European refugees. These and the refugees of the Russian Civil War led to the creation of the Nansen passport.

Ethnic minorities made the location of the frontiers generally unstable. Where the frontiers have remained unchanged since 1918, there has often been the expulsion of an ethnic group, such as the Sudeten Germans. Economic and military cooperation amongst these small states was minimal, ensuring that the defeated powers of Germany and the Soviet Union retained a latent capacity to dominate the region. In the immediate aftermath of the war, defeat drove cooperation between Germany and the Soviet Union but ultimately these two powers would compete to dominate eastern Europe.

Approximately 1.5 million Armenians, native inhabitants of the Armenian Highland, were exterminated in Turkey as a consequence of the Genocide of Armenians committed by the Young Turk Government.

New nations break free Edit

German and Austrian forces in 1918 defeated the Russian armies, and the new communist government in Moscow signed the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk in March 1918. In that treaty, Russia renounced all claims to Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Ukraine, and the territory of Congress Poland, and it was left to Germany and Austria-Hungary "to determine the future status of these territories in agreement with their population." Later on, Vladimir Lenin's government also renounced the Partition of Poland treaty, making it possible for Poland to claim its 1772 borders. However, the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk was rendered obsolete when Germany was defeated later in 1918, leaving the status of much of eastern Europe in an uncertain position.

Revolutions Edit

A far-left and often explicitly Communist revolutionary wave occurred in several European countries in 1917–1920, notably in Germany and Hungary. The single most important event precipitated by the privations of World War I was the Russian Revolution of 1917.

Germany Edit

In Germany, there was a socialist revolution which led to the brief establishment of a number of communist political systems in (mainly urban) parts of the country, the abdication of Kaiser Wilhelm II, and the creation of the Weimar Republic.

On 28 June 1919 the Weimar Republic was forced, under threat of continued Allied advance, to sign the Treaty of Versailles. Germany viewed the one-sided treaty as a humiliation and as blaming it for the entire war. While the intent of the treaty was to assign guilt to Germany to justify financial reparations, the notion of blame took root as a political issue in German society and was never accepted by nationalists, although it was argued by some, such as German historian Fritz Fischer. The German government disseminated propaganda to further promote this idea, and funded the Centre for the Study of the Causes of the War to this end.

132 billion gold marks ($31.5 billion, 6.6 billion pounds) were demanded from Germany in reparations, of which only 50 billion had to be paid. In order to finance the purchases of foreign currency required to pay off the reparations, the new German republic printed tremendous amounts of money – to disastrous effect. Hyperinflation plagued Germany between 1921 and 1923. In this period the worth of fiat Papiermarks with respect to the earlier commodity Goldmarks was reduced to one trillionth (one million millionth) of its value. [13] In December 1922 the Reparations Commission declared Germany in default, and on 11 January 1923 French and Belgian troops occupied the Ruhr until 1925.

The treaty required Germany to permanently reduce the size of its army to 100,000 men, and destroy their tanks, air force, and U-boat fleet (her capital ships, moored at Scapa Flow, were scuttled by their crews to prevent them from falling into Allied hands).

Germany saw relatively small amounts of territory transferred to Denmark, Czechoslovakia, and Belgium, a larger amount to France (including the temporary French occupation of the Rhineland) and the greatest portion as part of a reestablished Poland. Germany's overseas colonies were divided between a number of Allied countries, most notably the United Kingdom in Africa, but it was the loss of the territory that composed the newly independent Polish state, including the German city of Danzig and the separation of East Prussia from the rest of Germany, that caused the greatest outrage [ citation needed ] . Nazi propaganda would feed on a general German view that the treaty was unfair – many Germans never accepted the treaty as legitimate, and lent their political support to Adolf Hitler. [ citation needed ]

Russian Empire Edit

The Soviet Union benefited from Germany's loss, as one of the first terms of the armistice was the abrogation of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk. At the time of the armistice Russia was in the grips of a civil war which left more than seven million people dead and large areas of the country devastated. The nation as a whole suffered socially and economically.

Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia gained independence. They were occupied again by the Soviet Union in 1940.

Finland gained a lasting independence, though she repeatedly had to fight the Soviet Union for her borders.

Armenia, Georgia, and Azerbaijan were established as independent states in the Caucasus region. However, after withdrawal of Russian army in 1917 and during 1920 Turkish invasion of Armenia, Turkey captured the Armenian territory around Artvin, Kars, and Igdir, and these territorial losses became permanent. As consequence of invasions of Turkey and Russian Red Army all three Transcaucasian countries were proclaimed as Soviet Republics in 1920 and over time were absorbed into the Soviet Union.

The Russian concession in Tianjin was occupied by the Chinese in 1920 in 1924 the Soviet Union renounced its claims to the district.

Austria-Hungary Edit

With the war having turned decisively against the Central Powers, the people of Austria-Hungary lost faith in their allied countries, and even before the armistice in November, radical nationalism had already led to several declarations of independence in south-central Europe after November 1918. As the central government had ceased to operate in vast areas, these regions found themselves without a government and many new groups attempted to fill the void. During this same period, the population was facing food shortages and was, for the most part, demoralized by the losses incurred during the war. Various political parties, ranging from ardent nationalists, to social democrats, to communists attempted to set up governments in the names of the different nationalities. In other areas, existing nation states such as Romania engaged regions that they considered to be theirs. These moves created de facto governments that complicated life for diplomats, idealists, and the Western allies.

The Western forces were officially supposed to occupy the old Empire, but rarely had enough troops to do so effectively. They had to deal with local authorities who had their own agenda to fulfill. At the peace conference in Paris the diplomats had to reconcile these authorities with the competing demands of the nationalists who had turned to them for help during the war, the strategic or political desires of the Western allies themselves, and other agendas such as a desire to implement the spirit of the Fourteen Points.

For example, in order to live up to the ideal of self-determination laid out in the Fourteen Points, Germans, whether Austrian or German, should be able to decide their own future and government. However, the French especially were concerned that an expanded Germany would be a huge security risk. Further complicating the situation, delegations such as the Czechs and Slovenians made strong claims on some German-speaking territories.

The result was treaties that compromised many ideals, offended many allies, and set up an entirely new order in the area. Many people hoped that the new nation states would allow for a new era of prosperity and peace in the region, free from the bitter quarrelling between nationalities that had marked the preceding fifty years. This hope proved far too optimistic. Changes in territorial configuration after World War I included:

  • Establishment of the Republic of German Austria and the Hungarian Democratic Republic, disavowing any continuity with the empire and exiling the Habsburg family in perpetuity.
  • Eventually, after 1920, the new borders of Hungary did not include approx. two-thirds of the lands of the former Kingdom of Hungary, including areas where the ethnic Magyars were in a majority. The new republic of Austria maintained control over most of the predominantly German-controlled areas, but lost various other German majority lands in what was the Austrian Empire.
    , Moravia, Opava Silesia and the western part of the Duchy of Cieszyn, large part of Upper Hungary and Carpathian Ruthenia formed the new Czechoslovakia. , the eastern part of the Duchy of Cieszyn, northern Árva County and northern Szepes County were transferred to Poland.
  • the Southern half of the County of Tyrol and Trieste were granted to Italy. , Croatia-Slavonia, Dalmatia, Slovenia, Syrmia, parts of Bács-Bodrog, Baranya, Torontál and Temes Counties were joined with Serbia to form the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, later Yugoslavia. , parts of Banat, Crișana, and Maramureș and Bukovina became part of Romania.
  • The Austro-Hungarian concession in Tianjin was ceded to the Republic of China.

These changes were recognized in, but not caused by, the Treaty of Versailles. They were subsequently further elaborated in the Treaty of Saint-Germain and the Treaty of Trianon.

The 1919 treaties generally included guarantees of minority rights, but there was no enforcement mechanism. The new states of eastern Europe mostly all had large ethnic minorities. Millions of Germans found themselves in the newly created countries as minorities. More than two million ethnic Hungarians found themselves living outside of Hungary in Czechoslovakia, Romania and the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes. Many of these national minorities found themselves in hostile situations because the modern governments were intent on defining the national character of the countries, often at the expense of the other nationalities. The interwar years were hard for religious minorities in the new states built around ethnic nationalism. The Jews were especially distrusted because of their minority religion and distinct subculture. This was a dramatic come-down from the days of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Although antisemitism had been widespread during Habsburg rule, Jews faced no official discrimination because they were, for the most part, ardent supporters of the multi-national state and the monarchy. [14]

The economic disruption of the war and the end of the Austro-Hungarian customs union created great hardship in many areas. Although many states were set up as democracies after the war, one by one, with the exception of Czechoslovakia, they reverted to some form of authoritarian rule. Many quarreled amongst themselves but were too weak to compete effectively. Later, when Germany rearmed, the nation states of south-central Europe were unable to resist its attacks, and fell under German domination to a much greater extent than had ever existed in Austria-Hungary.

Ottoman Empire Edit

At the end of the war, the Allies occupied Constantinople (İstanbul) and the Ottoman government collapsed. The Treaty of Sèvres, designed to repair damage caused by Ottomans during the war to the winning Allies, was signed by Ottoman Empire on 10 August 1920, but was never ratified by the Sultan.

The occupation of Smyrna by Greece on 18 May 1919 triggered a nationalist movement to rescind the terms of the treaty. Turkish revolutionaries led by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, a successful Ottoman commander, rejected the terms enforced at Sèvres and under the guise of General Inspector of the Ottoman Army, left Istanbul for Samsun to organize the remaining Ottoman forces to resist the terms of the treaty. On the eastern front, after the invasion of Armenia in 1920 and signing of the Treaty of Kars with the Russian S.F.S.R. Turkey took over territory lost to Armenia and post-Imperial Russia. [15]

On the western front, the growing strength of the Turkish nationalist forces led Greece, with the backing of Britain, to invade deep into Anatolia in an attempt to deal a blow to the revolutionaries. At the Battle of Dumlupınar, the Greek army was defeated and forced into retreat, leading to the burning of Smyrna and the withdrawal of Greece from Asia Minor. With the nationalists empowered, the army marched on to reclaim Istanbul, resulting in the Chanak Crisis in which the British Prime Minister, David Lloyd George, was forced to resign. After Turkish resistance gained control over Anatolia and Istanbul, the Sèvres treaty was superseded by the Treaty of Lausanne (1923) which formally ended all hostilities and led to the creation of the modern Turkish Republic. As a result, Turkey became the only power of World War I to overturn the terms of its defeat, and negotiate with the Allies as an equal. [16]

Lausanne Treaty formally acknowledged the new League of Nations mandates in the Middle East, the cession of their territories on the Arabian Peninsula, and British sovereignty over Cyprus. The League of Nations granted Class A mandates for the French Mandate of Syria and Lebanon and British Mandate of Mesopotamia and Palestine, the latter comprising two autonomous regions: Mandate Palestine and the Emirate of Transjordan. Parts of the Ottoman Empire on the Arabian Peninsula became part of what is today Saudi Arabia and Yemen. The dissolution of the Ottoman Empire became a pivotal milestone in the creation of the modern Middle East, the result of which bore witness to the creation of new conflicts and hostilities in the region. [17]

United Kingdom Edit

In the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, funding the war had a severe economic cost. From being the world's largest overseas investor, it became one of its biggest debtors with interest payments forming around 40% of all government spending. Inflation more than doubled between 1914 and its peak in 1920, while the value of the Pound Sterling (consumer expenditure [18] ) fell by 61.2%. War reparations in the form of free German coal depressed local industry, precipitating the 1926 General Strike.

British private investments abroad were sold, raising £550 million. However, £250 million in new investment also took place during the war. The net financial loss was therefore approximately £300 million less than two years investment compared to the pre-war average rate and more than replaced by 1928. [19] Material loss was "slight": the most significant being 40% of the British merchant fleet sunk by German U-boats. Most of this was replaced in 1918 and all immediately after the war. [20] The military historian Correlli Barnett has argued that "in objective truth the Great War in no way inflicted crippling economic damage on Britain" but that the war "crippled the British psychologically but in no other way". [21]

Less concrete changes include the growing assertiveness of Commonwealth nations. Battles such as Gallipoli for Australia and New Zealand, and Vimy Ridge for Canada led to increased national pride and a greater reluctance to remain subordinate to Britain, leading to the growth of diplomatic autonomy in the 1920s. These battles were often decorated in propaganda in these nations as symbolic of their power during the war. Colonies such as the British Raj (India) and Nigeria also became increasingly assertive because of their participation in the war. The populations in these countries became increasingly aware of their own power and Britain's fragility.

In Ireland, the delay in finding a resolution to the Home Rule issue, exacerbated by the Government's severe response to the 1916 Easter Rising and its failed attempt to introduce conscription in Ireland in 1918, led to an increased support for separatist radicals. This led indirectly to the outbreak of the Irish War of Independence in 1919. The creation of the Irish Free State that followed this conflict in effect represented a territorial loss for the UK that was all but equal to the loss sustained by Germany, (and furthermore, compared to Germany, a much greater loss in terms of its ratio to the country's prewar territory). Despite this, the Irish Free State remained a dominion within the British Empire.

United States Edit

While disillusioned by the war, it having not achieved the high ideals promised by President Woodrow Wilson, American commercial interests did finance Europe's rebuilding and reparation efforts in Germany, at least until the onset of the Great Depression. American opinion on the propriety of providing aid to Germans and Austrians was split, as evidenced by an exchange of correspondence between Edgar Gott, an executive with The Boeing Company and Charles Osner, chairman of the Committee for the Relief of Destitute Women and Children in Germany and Austria. Gott argued that relief should first go to citizens of countries that had suffered at the hands of the Central Powers, while Osner made an appeal for a more universal application of humanitarian ideals. [22] The American economic influence allowed the Great Depression to start a domino effect, pulling Europe in as well.

France Edit

Alsace-Lorraine returned to France, the region which had been ceded to Prussia in 1871 after the Franco-Prussian War. At the 1919 Peace Conference, Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau's aim was to ensure that Germany would not seek revenge in the following years. To this purpose, the chief commander of the Allied forces, Marshal Ferdinand Foch, had demanded that for the future protection of France the Rhine river should now form the border between France and Germany. Based on history, he was convinced that Germany would again become a threat, and, on hearing the terms of the Treaty of Versailles that had left Germany substantially intact, he observed that "This is not Peace. It is an Armistice for twenty years."

The destruction brought upon French territory was to be indemnified by the reparations negotiated at Versailles. This financial imperative dominated France's foreign policy throughout the 1920s, leading to the 1923 Occupation of the Ruhr in order to force Germany to pay. However, Germany was unable to pay, and obtained support from the United States. Thus, the Dawes Plan was negotiated after Prime Minister Raymond Poincaré's occupation of the Ruhr, and then the Young Plan in 1929.

Also extremely important in the War was the participation of French colonial troops (who amounted for around 10% of the total number of troops deployed by France across the war), including the Senegalese tirailleurs, and troops from Indochina, North Africa, and Madagascar. When these soldiers returned to their homelands and continued to be treated as second class citizens, many became the nuclei of pro-independence groups.

Furthermore, under the state of war declared during the hostilities, the French economy had been somewhat centralized in order to be able to shift into a "war economy", leading to a first breach with classical liberalism.

Finally, the socialists' support of the National Union government (including Alexandre Millerand's nomination as Minister of War) marked a shift towards the French Section of the Workers' International's (SFIO) turn towards social democracy and participation in "bourgeois governments", although Léon Blum maintained a socialist rhetoric.

“But with its faceless state machinery and unremitting mechanized slaughter, the war instead collapsed these old ideals” [23] (Roberts 2). When the war was over and the men returned home, the world was a vastly different place than it had been before the war. Many ideals and beliefs were shattered with the war. Those returning from the front lines, and even those who were on the Homefront, were left to pick up the pieces of what was left of those ideals and beliefs, and try to rebuild them. Before the Great War, many thought this war would be a quick war, like many before had been. With new technology and weapons though, the war was at a stalemate for a large part of it, dragging what many thought would be a quick war out into a long, grueling war. With so much death and destruction done to France, it is not surprising when looking back that the way of life for French citizens was forever changed.

Many citizens saw the change in culture and blamed the war for taking away the rose tinted glasses that society had viewed things through. Many scholars and writers, such as Drieu la Rochelle, found many ways to describe this new view on reality such as stripping away clothes [24] (Roberts 2). This comparison of the new reality and clothing being stripped away also ties into the fact that gender roles changed greatly after the war.

During the war many jobs had been left to women because many men were fighting on the front lines. This gave women a new sense of freedom that they had not been able to experience ever before. Not many women wanted to go back to how things were before the war, when they expected to stay at home and take care of the house. When the war was over many of the older generations and men wanted women to return to their previous roles.

At a time where gender roles were so heavily defined and intertwined with the culture of many places, for French citizens viewing how many women went against said roles after World War 1, or the Great War as it was called at the time, it was ghastly. While gender roles had slowly been changing over time since the Industrial Revolution gave more work options outside of the home in factories, it had never been such a quick and drastic change as it was after World War 1. During the war many men went off to fight, leaving behind factory jobs that were usually seen as a man's job only. These jobs had to be filled and without men there to fill the jobs, it was women who stepped up to fill the hole instead. France suffered a great loss of life during World War 1, leaving many jobs unable to be refilled even after the war.

Debates and discussions concerning gender identity and gender roles in relation to society became one of the main ways to discuss the war and people's stances on it [25] (Roberts 5). The war left people struggling to grasp the new reality. There were mixed reactions to the new way of life after World War 1 and how it affected both men and women. Some people were willing to completely embrace the new standards that were emerging following the war, while others harshly rejected the changes, seeing the changes as summarizing all the horrors they experienced during the war. Others looked for ways to compromise between the new and old way of life, tried to combine the ideals and beliefs from before and after the war to find a healthy middle ground.

Discussions pertaining to women during post-war debates often split the view of women into three categories—the “modern woman,” the “mother,” and the “single woman” [26] (Roberts 9). These categories broke up the view of women by the roles they took on, the jobs they did, the way they acted, or by the beliefs they might hold. These categories also came to encompass the views of gender roles in relation to before and after the war. The “mother” category relates back to the role of women before the Great War, the woman who stayed at home and took care of the household while the husband was off at work. The “modern woman” relates to how many women were after the war, working jobs meant for men, engaging in sexual pleasures, and often doing things at a fast pace. The “single woman” was the middle ground between the other two that were very different from one another. The “single woman” came to represent the women who would never be able to marry because there were not enough men for every woman to marry [27] (Roberts 10).

One thing that sparked much debate in regards to the postwar woman is fashion. During the war things like cloth material were rationed, with people being encouraged to not use as much fabric, so that there would be enough for the military. In response to these rations, women wore shorter dresses and skirts, usually about knee length, or pants. This change in apparel was something that many women continued to wear even after the war ended. It was such a drastic change to the clothing norms for women before the war. This change led to some “modern women” to be described in harsh lights, as if wearing dresses and skirts that short showed that those women were promiscuous.

Those coming back from the war, from the fighting, were very traumatized and had wanted to come back to a home that was not very changed in order to give themselves a sense of normalcy. When these men came back to a home that had changed a lot they did not know what to make of it. Gone were the times of very defined gender roles that most of society conformed to. It was often hard for these traumatized men to accept these new changes, especially the changes in how women behaved.

Italy Edit

In 1882 Italy joined with the German Empire and the Austro-Hungarian Empire to form the Triple Alliance. However, even if relations with Berlin became very friendly, the alliance with Vienna remained purely formal, as the Italians were keen to acquire Trentino and Trieste, parts of the Austro-Hungarian empire populated by Italians.

During World War I Italy aligned with the Allies, instead of joining Germany and Austria. This could happen since the alliance formally had merely defensive prerogatives, while the Central Empires were the ones who started the offensive. With the Treaty of London, Britain secretly offered Italy Trentino and Tyrol as far as Brenner, Trieste and Istria, all the Dalmatian coast except Fiume, full ownership of Albanian Valona and a protectorate over Albania, Antalya in Turkey and a share of the Turkish and German colonial empire, in exchange for Italy siding against the Central Empires [ citation needed ] .

After the victory, Vittorio Orlando, Italy's President of the Council of Ministers, and Sidney Sonnino, its Foreign Minister, were sent as the Italian representatives to Paris with the aim of gaining the promised territories and as much other land as possible. In particular, there was an especially strong opinion about the status of Fiume, which they believed was rightly Italian due to Italian population, in agreement with Wilson's Fourteen Points, the ninth of which read:

"A readjustment of the frontiers of Italy should be effected along clearly recognizable lines of nationality".

Nevertheless, by the end of the war the Allies realized they had made contradictory agreements with other Nations, especially regarding Central Europe and the Middle-East. In the meetings of the "Big Four", in which Orlando's powers of diplomacy were inhibited by his lack of English, the Great powers were only willing to offer Trentino to the Brenner, the Dalmatian port of Zara, the island of Lagosta and a couple of small German colonies. All other territories were promised to other nations and the great powers were worried about Italy's imperial ambitions Wilson, in particular, was a staunch supporter of Yugoslav rights on Dalmatia against Italy and despite the Treaty of London which he did not recognize. [28] As a result of this, Orlando left the conference in a rage. This simply favored Britain and France, which divided among themselves the former Ottoman and German territories in Africa. [29]

In Italy, the discontent was relevant: Irredentism (see: irredentismo) claimed Fiume and Dalmatia as Italian lands many felt the Country had taken part in a meaningless war without getting any serious benefits. This idea of a "mutilated victory" (vittoria mutilata) was the reason which led to the Impresa di Fiume ("Fiume Exploit"). On September 12, 1919, the nationalist poet Gabriele d'Annunzio led around 2,600 troops from the Royal Italian Army (the Granatieri di Sardegna), nationalists and irredentists, into a seizure of the city, forcing the withdrawal of the inter-Allied (American, British and French) occupying forces.

The "mutilated victory" (vittoria mutilata) became an important part of Italian Fascist propaganda.

China Edit

The Republic of China had been one of the Allies during the war, they had sent thousands of labourers to France. At the Paris Peace Conference in 1919, the Chinese delegation called for an end to Western imperialistic institutions in China, but was rebuffed. China requested at least the formal restoration of its territory of Jiaozhou Bay, under German colonial control since 1898. But the western Allies rejected China's request, instead granting transfer to Japan of all of Germany's pre-war territory and rights in China. Subsequently, China did not sign the Treaty of Versailles, instead signing a separate peace treaty with Germany in 1921.

The Austro-Hungarian and German concessions in Tianjin were placed under the administration of the Chinese government in 1920 they occupied the Russian area as well.

The western Allies' substantial accession to Japan's territorial ambitions at China's expense led to the May Fourth Movement in China, a social and political movement that had profound influence over subsequent Chinese history. The May Fourth Movement is often cited as the birth of Chinese nationalism, and both the Kuomintang and Chinese Communist Party consider the Movement to be an important period in their own histories.

Japan Edit

Because of the treaty that Japan had signed with Great Britain in 1902, Japan was one of the Allies during the war. With British assistance, Japanese forces attacked Germany's territories in Shandong province in China, including the East Asian coaling base of the Imperial German navy. The German forces were defeated and surrendered to Japan in November 1914. The Japanese navy also succeeded in seizing several of Germany's island possessions in the Western Pacific: the Marianas, Carolines, and Marshall Islands.

At the Paris Peace Conference in 1919, Japan was granted all of Germany's pre-war rights in Shandong province in China (despite China also being one of the Allies during the war): outright possession of the territory of Jiaozhou Bay, and favorable commercial rights throughout the rest of the province, as well as a Mandate over the German Pacific island possessions that the Japanese navy had taken. Also, Japan was granted a permanent seat on the Council of the League of Nations. Nevertheless, the Western powers refused Japan's request for the inclusion of a "racial equality" clause as part of the Treaty of Versailles. Shandong reverted to Chinese control in 1922 after mediation by the United States during the Washington Naval Conference. Weihai followed in 1930. [30]

Countries that gained or regained territory or independence after World War I Edit

    : independence from Russian Empire
  • Australia: gained control of German New Guinea, the Bismarck Archipelago and Nauru
  • Austria: gained territories (Őrvidék) from Hungary
  • Belgium: gained control of Eupen-Malmedy and the African territories of Ruanda-Urundi from the German Empire
  • Belarus People's Republic: gained control of several cities from the Russian Empire
  • Czechoslovakia: gained territories from the Austrian Empire (Bohemia, Moravia, and part of Silesia) and Hungary (mostly Upper Hungary and Carpathian Ruthenia)
  • Danzig: semi-autonomous free city with independence from the German Empire
  • Denmark: gained Nordschleswig after a referendum from the German Empire
  • Estonia: independence from the Russian Empire
  • Finland: independence from the Russian Empire
  • France: gained Alsace-Lorraine as well as various African colonies from the German Empire, and Middle East territories from the Ottoman Empire. The African and Middle East gains were officially League of Nations Mandates.
  • Georgia: independence from the Russian Empire
  • Greece: gained Western Thrace from Bulgaria
  • Ireland: Irish Free State (approximately five-sixths of the island) gained independence from the United Kingdom (but still part of the British Empire)
  • Italy: gained South Tyrol, Trieste, Istria peninsula and Zadar from the Austro-Hungarian Empire
  • Japan: gained Jiaozhou Bay and most of Shandong from China and the South Seas Mandate (both controlled by German Empire before the war)
  • Latvia: independence from the Russian Empire
  • Lithuania: independence from the Russian Empire
  • New Zealand: gained control of German Samoa
  • Poland: recreated and gained parts of the Austrian Empire, German Empire, Russian Empire and Hungary (small northern parts of the former Árva and Szepes counties)
  • Portugal: gained control of the port of Kionga
  • Romania: gained Transylvania, parts of Banat, Crișana, and Maramureș from the Kingdom of Hungary, Bukovina from the Austrian Empire, Dobruja from Bulgaria, and Bessarabia from the Russian Empire
  • South Africa: gained control of South West Africa
  • Turkey: gained control of part of the Armenian Highlands from the Russian Empire in the Treaty of Kars, while losing territory overall : gained independence from the Russian Empire and recognized by Soviet Russia in the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk
  • United Kingdom: gained League of Nations Mandates in Africa and the Middle East
  • Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, created from the Kingdom of Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kingdom of Croatia-Slavonia and gained parts from Austrian Empire (part of Duchy of Carniola, Kingdom of Dalmatia) and Hungary (Muraköz, Muravidék, parts of Baranya, Bácska and Banat)

Nations that lost territory or independence after World War I Edit

    , as the successor state of Cisleithania in the Austro-Hungarian Empire : lost Western Thrace to Greece also lost a part of Eastern Macedonia and Western Outlands to Serbia (Yugoslavia) : temporarily lost Jiaozhou Bay and most of Shandong to the Empire of Japan , as the successor state of the German Empire , as the successor state of Transleithania in the Austro-Hungarian Empire declared union with Serbia and subsequently became incorporated into Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes , as the successor state of the Russian Empire , as the successor state of the Ottoman Empire (although it did simultaneously gain some territory from the Russian Empire in the Treaty of Kars) : lost most of Ireland as the Irish Free State, Egypt in 1922 and Afghanistan in 1919

The experiences of the war in the west are commonly assumed to have led to a sort of collective national trauma afterward for all of the participating countries. The optimism of 1900 was entirely gone and those who fought became what is known as "the Lost Generation" because they never fully recovered from their suffering. For the next few years, much of Europe mourned privately and publicly memorials were erected in thousands of villages and towns.

So many British men of marriageable age died or were injured that the students of one girls' school were warned that only 10% would marry. [31] : 20,245 The 1921 United Kingdom Census found 19,803,022 women and 18,082,220 men in England and Wales, a difference of 1.72 million which newspapers called the "Surplus Two Million". [31] : 22–23 In the 1921 census there were 1,209 single women aged 25 to 29 for every 1,000 men. In 1931 50% were still single, and 35% of them did not marry while still able to bear children. [ citation needed ]

As early as 1923, Stanley Baldwin recognized a new strategic reality that faced Britain in a disarmament speech. Poison gas and the aerial bombing of civilians were new developments of the First World War. The British civilian population, for many centuries, had not had any serious reason to fear invasion. So the new threat of poison gas dropped from enemy bombers excited a grossly exaggerated view of the civilian deaths that would occur on the outbreak of any future war. Baldwin expressed this in his statement that "The bomber will always get through." The traditional British policy of a balance of power in Europe no longer safeguarded the British home population.

One gruesome reminder of the sacrifices of the generation was the fact that this was one of the first times in international conflict whereby more men died in battle than from disease, which was the main cause of deaths in most previous wars.

This social trauma made itself manifest in many different ways. Some people were revolted by nationalism and what they believed it had caused, so they began to work toward a more internationalist world through organizations such as the League of Nations. Pacifism became increasingly popular. Others had the opposite reaction, feeling that only military strength could be relied upon for protection in a chaotic and inhumane world that did not respect hypothetical notions of civilization. Certainly a sense of disillusionment and cynicism became pronounced. Nihilism grew in popularity. Many people believed that the war heralded the end of the world as they had known it, including the collapse of capitalism and imperialism. Communist and socialist movements around the world drew strength from this theory, enjoying a level of popularity they had never known before. These feelings were most pronounced in areas directly or particularly harshly affected by the war, such as central Europe, Russia and France.

Artists such as Otto Dix, George Grosz, Ernst Barlach, and Käthe Kollwitz represented their experiences, or those of their society, in blunt paintings and sculpture. Similarly, authors such as Erich Maria Remarque wrote grim novels detailing their experiences. These works had a strong impact on society, causing a great deal of controversy and highlighting conflicting interpretations of the war. In Germany, nationalists including the Nazis believed that much of this work was degenerate and undermined the cohesion of society as well as dishonoring the dead.

Throughout the areas where trenches and fighting lines were located, such as the Champagne region of France, quantities of unexploded ordnance have remained, some of which remain dangerous, continuing to cause injuries and occasional fatalities in the 21st century. Some are found by farmers ploughing their fields and have been called the iron harvest. Some of this ammunition contains toxic chemical products such as mustard gas. Cleanup of major battlefields is a continuing task with no end in sight for decades to come. Squads remove, defuse or destroy hundreds of tons of unexploded ammunition from both World Wars every year in Belgium, France, and Germany.

During WWII women worked in factories producing munitions, building ships, aeroplanes, in the auxiliary services as air-raid wardens, fire officers and evacuation officers, as drivers of fire engines, trains and trams, as conductors and as nurses. During this period some trade unions serving traditionally male occupations like engineering began to admit women members.

The entry of women into occupations which were regarded as highly skilled and as male preserves, for example as drivers of fire engines, trains and trams and in the engineering, metal and shipbuilding industries, renewed debates about equal pay. The trade unions were once again concerned about the impact on men’s wages after the war when men would once again be working in these jobs. But the government’s priority was the recruitment of workers to service industries and the war effort. Some limited agreement on equal pay was reached that allowed equal pay for women where they performed the same job as men had ‘without assistance or supervision'. Most employers managed to circumvent the issue of equal pay, and women’s pay remained on average 53% of the pay of the men they replaced. Semi-skilled and unskilled jobs were designated as ‘women’s jobs’ and were exempt from equal pay negotiations.


Due to the Philippine Insurrection, a few U.S. servicemen would take Filipinas as their wives, with documentation as early as 1902 of one immigrating with their servicemember husband to the U.S. These Filipinas were already U.S. nationals, when immigrating to the United States, making their legal status significantly different from previous Asian immigrants to the US. [8]

United States Edit

During and immediately after World War II, more than 60,000 U.S. servicemen married women overseas and they were promised that their wives and children would receive free passage to the U.S. The U.S. Army's "Operation War Bride", which eventually transported an estimated 70,000 women and children, began in Britain in early 1946. The press dubbed it "Operation Diaper Run". The first group of war brides (452 British women and their 173 children, and one bridegroom) left Southampton harbor on SS Argentina on January 26, 1946 and arrived in the U.S. on February 4, 1946. [9] Over the years, an estimated 300,000 foreign war brides moved to the United States following the passage of the War Brides Act of 1945 and its subsequent amendments, of which 51,747 were Filipinos [10] and an estimated 50,000 were Japanese. [11]

Robyn Arrowsmith, a historian who spent nine years researching Australia's war brides, said between 12,000 and 15,000 Australian women had married visiting U.S. servicemen and moved to the U.S. with their husbands. [12] Significantly, an estimated 30,000 to 40,000 Newfoundland women married American servicemen during the time of Ernest Harmon Air Force Base's existence (1941–1966), in which tens of thousands of U.S. servicemen arrived to defend the island and North America from Nazi Germany during World War II and the Soviet Union during the Cold War. Many of these war brides settled in the U.S., so much so that in 1966 the Newfoundland government created a tourism campaign specifically tailored to provide opportunities for them and their families to reunite. [13]

Great Britain Edit

Some war brides came from Australia to Britain aboard HMS Victorious following World War II. [14] Roughly 70,000 war brides left Britain for America during the 1940s. [15]

Australia Edit

In 1945 and 1946 several Bride trains were run in Australia to transport war brides and their children travelling to or from ships.

In 1948, Immigration Minister Arthur Calwell announced that no Japanese war brides would be allowed to settle in Australia, stating "it would be the grossest act of public indecency to permit any Japanese of either sex to pollute Australia" while relatives of deceased Australian soldiers were alive. [16]

About 650 Japanese war brides migrated to Australia after the ban was lifted in 1952 when the San Francisco Peace Treaty came into force. They had married Australian soldiers involved in the occupation of Japan. [17]

Canada Edit

47,783 British war brides arrived in Canada accompanied by some 21,950 children. Since 1939, most Canadian soldiers were stationed in Britain. As such, about 90% of all war brides arriving in Canada were British. 3,000 war brides came from the Netherlands, Belgium, Newfoundland, France, Italy, Ireland and Scotland. [18] The first marriage between a Canadian serviceman and a British bride was registered at Farnborough Church in the Aldershot area in December 1939, just 43 days after the first Canadian soldiers arrived. [18] Many of these war brides emigrated to Canada, beginning in 1944 and peaking in 1946. A special Canadian agency, the Canadian Wives' Bureau was set up by the Canadian Department of Defence to arrange transport and assist war brides in the transition to Canadian life. The majority of Canadian war brides landed at Pier 21 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, most commonly on the following troop and hospital ships: Queen Mary, Lady Nelson, Letitia, Mauretania, and Île de France. [19]

The Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 has exhibits and collections dedicated to war brides. [20] There is a National Historic Site marker located at Pier 21, as well. [21]

Italy Edit

During the campaign of 1943–1945, there were more than 10,000 marriages between Italian women and American soldiers. [3] [22]

From relationships between Italian women and African-American soldiers, "mulattini" were born many of these children were abandoned in orphanages, [3] because at the time interracial marriage was not legal in many U.S. states. [23] [24]

Japan Edit

Several thousand Japanese who were sent as colonizers to Manchukuo and Inner Mongolia were left behind in China. The majority of Japanese left behind in China were women, and these Japanese women mostly married Chinese men and became known as "stranded war wives" (zanryu fujin). [25] [26] Because they had children fathered by Chinese men, the Japanese women were not allowed to bring their Chinese families back with them to Japan so most of them stayed. Japanese law only allowed children fathered by Japanese fathers to become Japanese citizens. It was not until 1972 that Sino-Japanese diplomacy was restored, allowing these survivors the opportunity to visit or emigrate to Japan. Even then, they faced difficulties many had been missing so long that they had been declared dead at home. [25]

6,423 Korean women married U.S. military personnel as war brides during and immediately after the Korean War. [27]

8,040 Vietnamese women came to the United States as war brides between 1964 and 1975. [28]

And it led to other problems later, too.

When writing about one aspect of the war, inevitably other elements are dragged in. Everything is related you must follow a stream of events to reach the end of the war, and nobody rings a bell to say when peoples' allegiance changes. The most difficult part of writing discrete articles about the war is compartmentalizing them so that you don't start wandering off and lose your readers' interest. This page is primarily about the early stage of Barbarossa when there was hope within some "conquered" peoples that the conquerors would be an improvement over their former masters.

However, there is a great deal of evidence that, early in the conflict, the locals were roughly as happy at the lifting of the Soviet yoke as they later were about the German withdrawal.

I have a page for collaborator girls in Western Europe here.


In response to a good question: I have only heard about "The Forgotten Soldier" by Guy Sajer, but haven't actually sat down and read it. I know it is a classic, and I would like to go through it when I can grab a copy. It does talk about soldiers and their Ukrainian girlfriends, so is kind of on-point with this article, so felt it worth mentioning here. Apropos of nothing, "Cross of Iron" with James Coburn has an interesting scene along those lines which kind of presents a realistic view of how a lot of "relationships" went down in those trying times. Anyone who has seen the film knows exactly what I am talking about.

The girl in Lviv picture, I have seen it elsewhere & it was captioned as a Jewish woman attacked by her own countrymen.

How much percentage of the German Male population was lost by the end of world war 2? And how much did it affect the genetic demographic of Germany?

Trying to pin down exactingly how many German males died in WW2 is going to be a very difficult prospect. The problem is just how often the casualties numbers change. When World War 2 ended it was estimated that there were just over 3 million German soldiers dead. However, numerous studies after the war, the most notable being the "Overmans study", showed that the German high command's numbers were incorrect. The new number for German military dead was now over 5 million as estimated by Overman. This new number of 5 million is generally supported by historians.

David Glantz in his book "When Titans Clashed" puts the total German casualties (including wounded) at over 11 million (6 million wounded, 5 million dead). 11 million was 75% of the entire German Army and 46% of the German male population in 1939.

Now it gets even trickier. Do you factor POWs who would later die into the kill count? If you do than get ready for more issues. Some historians assert that as many as 1 million of the over 2 million German POWs taken by the Soviet Union died. Others assert that only around 500,000 of the German POWs. Not to mention the POWs who died in American and British captivity, (a very small number when compared to the amount that died in Soviet captivity, somewhere in the 10,000 range).

But of course we aren't just talking about military dead. So lets add some more confusion into the mix. West German reports put the total amount of civilians killed by Strategic bombing at over 500,000. But Richard Overy, a respected historian who has wrote on the bombing of Germany, argues that the 500,000 number is based off inflated Nazi reports and that the real number of civilians killed by strategic bombing is just over 350,000.

Now I won't touch on the subject of German expulsions since that happened after were World War 2 (though it started as early as 1944-1945) and that would just add to the mess of numbers as those numbers are more heavily disputed than the rest of them. Some say as many as 2 million Germans were killed others will go as low as around 300,000-500,000.

So as you see pinning down exact numbers in a conflict like World War Two is next to impossible. But if we just count military deaths. We are looking at around 5.3 million Germans dead. With another 10 million held in POW camps most of whom wouldn't be released until the late 1940's in the case of the allies and as late as the early 1950's in the case of the Soviet Union. The 5.3 million includes those who never returned from captivity. That being said its difficult to calculate the amount of German soldiers who died in the battles in late 1945 because there was no way to report them. This is why most historians who write about casualties will paint with very broad strokes, most will say over "4 million" dead braver ones will say "over 5 million". The breakdown of communications and reporting in Germany in 1945 makes getting an accurate number near impossible.

The population of Germany took a major hit. 46% of the 1939 male population was either dead or seriously wounded. The German population was now close to the number it had been at the turn if the century. The German population had been nearly 80 million in 1939 and it was about 65 million (both Germanys) in 1946, but this number could be heavily disputed.

In 1950 the newly founded West Germany had about 51 million people. With 4 million more women than men. The GDR was trailing with about 18 million people.

The Third Reich Series by Richard Evans for pre-war data

When Titans Clashed by David Glantz for casualty figures

This site has good census data on it and can help you get an idea about populations, its not too in depth but its interesting none the less.

Rush to Disaster: Task Force Smith

There should be, somewhere in the annals of American military history, a compendium of battlefield disasters. If so, among them would be a little-known engagement that marked America’s earliest involvement in the Korean conflict and presaged what was to follow. It was known as the Battle of Osan, fought bravely but futilely by a badly outnumbered battalion of U.S. Army infantry and artillery known as Task Force Smith.

At dawn on June 25, 1950, communist North Korea crossed the 38th parallel and surged into the democratic Republic of Korea the People’s Army of in what the United Nations termed “an unprovoked act of aggression.” Ever since the United States and the Soviet Union split Korea in two after World War II, each side had postured, threatened reunification by force and engaged in border spats. This latest action seemed at first to be just one more incident in a five-year standoff marked by mutual threats and hostility.

By June 30, having realized the true scope of the invasion, President Harry S. Truman had ordered General of the Army Douglas MacArthur—supreme commander for the Allied powers in occupied Japan—to commit ground troops to Korea. MacArthur immediately sought authorization to “move a U.S. regimental combat team to the reinforcement of the vital area discussed and to provide for a possible buildup to a two-division strength from the troops in Japan for an early counteroffensive.” Truman approved, and MacArthur instructed Lt. Gen. Walton H. Walker, Eighth Army commander, to order the 24th Infantry Division—then stationed in Japan—to Korea with all possible speed. Walker, in turn, conveyed preliminary verbal instructions to division commander Maj. Gen. William F. Dean.

The immediate problem was there was not an established regimental combat team (RCT) in Japan, nor were there enough C-54 cargo planes in the country to transport such a unit and its equipment. The respective commanders chose not to spend time improvising a regiment-sized combat outfit or waiting for more planes, fearing that such delays would compromise MacArthur’s plan for rapid deployment.

Instead, they decided to send a small delaying force to “contact the enemy.” The rest of the 24th Inf. Div. would follow by sea, entering Korea through the port of Pusan. Instead of the called-for full-strength regimental combat team, the delaying force comprised a single understrength infantry battalion totaling barely 400 men. When this tiny force departed for Korea—for what would certainly be a hostile engagement with a numerically superior foe—it would go without the tanks, forward air controllers, combat engineers, medical support, air defense, military police, or signal and reconnaissance platoons indigenous to a standard RCT.

The one thing the Army did right was to pick a good man to lead the unit.

Thirty-four-year-old Lt. Col. Charles B. Smith was a seasoned combat veteran. A 1939 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, he’d been stationed at Oahu, Hawaii, when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor in December 1941, and he fought in the Pacific throughout World War II. Now he was to command the first American combat unit to meet the enemy in the Korean War.

As Smith later recalled, on the night of June 30, 1950, he was awakened at his quarters at Camp Wood on the island of Kyu¯ shu¯, Japan, by a phone call from Colonel Richard W. Stephens, commander of the 21st Inf. Regt., 24th Inf. Div. “The lid has blown off,” Stephens said. “Get on your clothes and report to the command post.” There Smith was ordered to take the makeshift infantry battalion—centered on the regiment’s 1st Battalion, minus companies A and D—to Itazuke Air Base.

General Dean was waiting at Itazuke. He ordered Smith to stop the North Koreans as far from Pusan as he could and to “block the main road as far north as possible.” Dean also directed Smith to seek out Brig. Gen. John H. Church, deputy commander of U.S. Army Forces in Korea (USAFIK), once he landed, then added, “Sorry I can’t give you more information. That’s all I’ve got.”

Smith’s written instructions followed later in the day in a formal operations order: “Advance at once upon landing with delaying force, in accordance with the situation, to the north by all possible means, contact enemy now advancing south from Seoul towards Suwo ˘n and delay his advance.” What Walker and Dean neglected to tell Smith was that the enemy he had been ordered to delay was, in fact, the flower of the invading North Korean People’s Army (NKPA).

Smith’s truncated battalion—dubbed Task Force Smith after him— comprised two undersized rifle companies, B and C, and half of the headquarters company. Supporting them were half a communications platoon a 75mm recoilless rifle platoon with only two of the four requisite weapons two 4.2- inch mortars six 2.36- inch bazookas and four 60mm mortars. Nearly all the weapons were of World War II vintage.

Each Task Force Smith soldier carried 120 rounds of .30-caliber rifle ammunition and enough Crations for two days. Most of Smith’s 406 men were 20 years old or younger, and only a fraction of the officers and enlisted men had seen combat.

Upon landing in Korea, Smith and his men were driven the 17 miles to the rail station in Pusan, where cheering locals lined the streets, waving banners and streamers as the soldiers passed. From Pusan the train took the small force to Taejo ˘n, arriving on the morning of July 2. There Smith met with Church and gathered U.S. and Republic of Korea (ROK) army officers. “We have a little action up here,” Church said, indicating a northerly point on a map. “All we need is some men up there who won’t run when they see tanks. We’re going to move you up to support the ROKs and give them moral support.” Church was fully aware the “little action” into which he was sending Smith and his makeshift battalion would pit them against at least two regiments of the NKPA’s 4th Inf. Div., supported by a tank regiment—some 5,000 men and three dozen tanks. It is not known why he failed to inform Smith of this or the fact that the enemy advance had just taken the city of Suwo ˘n and routed several South Korean divisions, leaving no intact ROK army units in the vicinity for Smith to support. Church apparently felt—as had Dean and Walker before him—that a “demonstration of resolve” by two understrength American rifle companies would be sufficient to encourage ROK units and discourage the entire NKPA. Smith, however, was a professional soldier, and he was determined to find out just what lay in store for his men.

After meeting with Church on July 2, Smith set out north by jeep toward Suwo˘n with his principal officers, looking for a likely place to establish a defensive position. As they drove north over miles of rough road, thousands of dispirited refugees and retreating ROK troops passed them in the opposite direction.

Three miles north of Osan the road dipped and bent slightly toward Suwo ˘n. At right angles to the road ran an irregular ridge of hills. The highest hill peaked at around 300 feet, commanding the railroad line to the east and offering a line of sight nearly the entire eight miles north to Suwo ˘n. It was there Smith established his position.

Smith set up his command post in Pyeongtaek, some 15 miles southeast of Osan. On July 4 elements of the 52nd Field Artillery Battalion—134 men and a battery of six 105mm howitzers under the command of Lt. Col. Miller Perry—arrived in Pyeongtaek to bolster the task force. The two officers made a final reconnaissance of the position north of Osan, noting viable positions for the howitzers. Smith submitted his choice of site to headquarters and received orders to “take up those good positions near Osan you told General Church about.”

In many ways the position was optimal, given the situation. It offered good cover and observation, and it controlled the approaches to Osan. However, the enemy had a clear path to flanking Smith, who with his limited force could do little more than deploy his men in a “refused flank” —a line of troops bent back on itself to prevent such an attack.

Just after midnight on July 5 Task Force Smith moved out of Pyeongtaek in dozens of trucks and commandeered vehicles. In blackout conditions, with fleeing ROK troops and civilians clogging the road, it took more than two and a half hours to cover the 12 miles to Osan. They drove on in a pouring rain, reaching their position at 3 a.m. Worse still, the sky showed no sign of clearing, eliminating any possibility of air support.

Smith’s infantrymen began to dig in and set up their weapons in the rain-soaked predawn hours, forming a mile-wide defensive line that flanked the road. Meanwhile, Perry’s men used jeeps to tow all but one of their howitzers up a steep hillside some 2,000 yards to the rear of the infantry and then camouflaged them. The remaining gun Perry placed halfway between the battery and the infantry position to cover the road against enemy tanks. The men strung telephone wires between the artillery and infantry positions. Smith emplaced the four .50-caliber machine guns and four bazookas with his infantry and positioned the mortars 400 yards to the rear. The infantry parked its vehicles just south of their position, while the artillerymen chose to conceal their trucks farther back toward Osan—a decision that would prove fortuitous after the battle.

By first light the men were in position, their situation as good as Smith could make it. “Gentlemen, we will hold for 24 hours,” the commander told his men. “After that we will have help.” Smith was unaware that neither Church nor Dean had made any provisions to come to his aid. As far as the generals were concerned, the mission was simply a delaying action that required no further support. Smith’s tiny force was soon to be as isolated as the men at the Alamo or Thermopylae—and just as outnumbered.

Smith and his men did not have to wait long for the enemy. At around 7:30 a.m. observers spotted eight Soviet-made T-34/85 tanks of the NKPA’s 107th Tank Regiment rolling directly toward them. At 8:16 a.m., at a range of 4,000 yards, the American artillery fired on the forces of North Korea for the first time—to no effect whatsoever. The standard 105mm rounds merely bounced off the tanks. Perry’s battery had only six high-explosive antitank (HEAT) rounds, all assigned to the forward howitzer.

When the T-34s came within 700 yards of the infantry Smith ordered the 75mm recoilless rifles to open fire. Despite scoring several direct hits, they had no better luck. Nor did the 2.36-inch bazookas, firing repeatedly at practically pointblank range. Second Lt. Ollie Connor alone fired 22 rockets from a distance of 15 yards, to no effect. Had the Americans been armed with the more powerful 3.5-inch bazookas then being fielded to U.S. units in Germany, the outcome would have been dramatically different.

The Army maxim of the day regarding tank warfare was, “The best defense against the tank is another tank.” Without tanks of its own, Task Force Smith could have at least used anti-tank mines, but again there were none in Korea. For reasons that remain unclear, they were left on the airstrip in Japan as the task force prepared to deploy.

The T-34s soon opened fire on the Americans with their turret-mounted 85mm guns and 7.62 machine guns. The heavy barrage initially sent some of Perry’s gun crews scurrying for cover, but they soon returned to their howitzers. As the tanks began to roll through Smith’s position, American fire—in all likelihood HEAT rounds from the lead howitzer—finally had an impact, damaging the lead two T-34s. One caught fire, and as its three-man crew emerged from the turret, one of them fired on a U.S. machine gun emplacement, killing an assistant gunner. He was the first American ground soldier killed in action in Korea. Return fire killed the three North Koreans.

The forward howitzer crew engaged the third tank through the pass, but the Americans had expended their six HEAT rounds, and the tank quickly knocked out the gun. Perry’s remaining howitzers disabled two other tanks, but more were on the way. Twenty-five additional T-34s followed the initial eight-tank enemy column in intervals. Perhaps fearing that Smith’s men represented only the forward position of a much larger force, the tanks did not stop to engage the infantry but simply fired on them in passing. Some did not bother to fire at all. Unfortunately for the Americans, the tanks’ treads had cut the telephone wires, severely hampering communication between Smith and the artillery. Two hours after the first tank approached, the last passed through Smith’s position, leaving some 20 Americans dead or wounded, including Perry, who was hit in the leg by small-arms fire after trying in vain to get the crew of one disabled tank to surrender.

An hour later Smith saw what he estimated to be a six-mile column of trucks and infantry, led by three tanks, approaching along the road. These were the 16th and 18th Regiments of the NKPA’s 4th Division, some 5,000 men in all. Inexplicably, the earlier tank column had neglected to alert the infantry to the waiting American ambushers. When the convoy closed to within 1,000 yards, Smith and his men “threw the book at them,” as he later put it. The North Koreans reacted by sending the three tanks to within 300 yards of the ridgeline to shell and machine-gun Task Force Smith’s positions. A 1,000-man enemy skirmish line sought to advance but was driven back by American fire.

Though Perry’s battery, cut off from communication with forward observers, was unable to provide supporting fire, Smith’s infantry fought on for more than three hours. The American infantrymen inflicted punishing casualties on the advancing enemy but were eventually flanked and subjected to heavy fire. Nearly surrounded and almost out of ammunition, Smith realized withdrawal was the only option.

It was during the withdrawal the Americans suffered their greatest casualties. Those who attempted to carry wounded out of the firestorm were cut down. Completely exposed to enemy mortar and machine-gun fire, many of the men broke and ran, leaving their heavy weapons and at least two dozen wounded behind. As the advancing North Koreans came upon the injured Americans, they shot them where they lay or bound and executed them.

When the advance columns of T-34s had passed through, they had destroyed the infantry’s vehicles, so Smith’s surviving infantrymen ran through nearby rice paddies, desperate to find the rear. The withdrawal quickly turned into a rout. The artillerymen still had their trucks, and after disabling the remaining howitzers, they drove off toward Ansong, picking up dozens of scattered infantrymen as they went. Survivors would straggle into headquarters, singly and in small groups, for days afterward. Smith reported 150 of his infantrymen and 31 officers and men of Perry’s artillery force dead or missing— around 40 percent of the task force. The butcher’s bill could have been much higher had the North Koreans—who had orders not to stop until they reached Pyeongtaek—chosen to pursue Smith’s little force, they could have wiped it out.

In time a new Army slogan was born: “No more Task Force Smiths.” Over the past six decades it has been the norm to lay blame on convenient targets for the defeat of Task Force Smith—poor training, faulty leadership, inadequate equipment—while ignoring the chief underlying causes of the fiasco.

A claim that the men of Task Force Smith were poorly trained is fiction. The soldiers in occupied Japan received the same extensive training given all American troops. Writes one Army historian of the period, “The units that were deployed to Korea were as disciplined as any unit sent to combat in the Second World War.” At the time of Task Force Smith’s deployment the Army’s evaluation program had rated the battalion “tested and ready for combat.” The proof was in its performance. Dramatically outgunned and outmanned more than 10-to-1, the U.S. troops had confronted two regiments of enemy infantry and three dozen tanks, had held their ground for more than six hours and had killed some 42 North Koreans and wounded 85. The fact the GIs took out four tanks with limited antitank weapons and retained discipline under heavy fire speaks volumes.

Some accused Smith and his officers of failing their men, but nothing could be further from the truth. The task force’s officers, from Smith on down, made all the right decisions regarding terrain and tactics. And despite the mad scramble for survival at the close of battle, their men acquitted themselves well in an impossible situation, due in large measure to the example set by their officers.

A charge that the firepower employed by Task Force Smith was inadequate for the mission is true the condition of much of the equipment was disgraceful. Even the howitzers had earlier been condemned and were no longer allowed to fire over friendly troops. Yet the men under Smith and Perry used the worn artillery pieces and other weapons to their fullest capacity.

U.S. Army Major John Garrett conducted extensive research into the battle and wrote “Task Force Smith: The Lesson Never Learned,” a monograph published in 2000 by the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College’s School of Advanced Military Studies. In it Garrett convincingly argues that the real responsibility for the mission’s failure lay not with the men who led or comprised Task Force Smith but with the “senior leaders of the 24th Infantry Division, Eighth U.S. Army and higher headquarters who failed to provide the proper operational leadership.…Task Force Smith was deployed to the Korean theater without any concept of how and why it was to be employed.”

Facing a Senate committee MacArthur later said of the Battle of Osan: “I threw in troops from the 24th Division…in the hope of establishing a loci of resistance around which I could rally the fast-retreating South Korean forces. I also hoped by that arrogant display of strength to fool the enemy into a belief that I had a much greater resource at my disposal than I did.” It was a naive and ultimately disastrous gambit, reflective of the hubris that convinced experienced general officers that a small force of American warriors could deter entire NKPA tank and infantry regiments. In all likelihood the North Koreans initially had no idea they were facing an American defensive force. And once they did, it clearly made no difference their tanks simply rode over and through the Americans. As Garrett wrote, “This brave tiny force was placed in front of the absolute strongest part of the North Korean Army…not out of ignorance of the situation, but out of the thoughtless pride of MacArthur and the failure of any other commander to correct or even see the blunder.”

Nor did the Army learn from Osan. Task Force Smith would not be the last American force precipitately thrown into combat with tragic results in the early days of the Korean War. An oft-repeated quote describes insanity as doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

Sadly, the results would be the same each time.

Ron Soodalter is the author of Hanging Captain Gordon and co-author of The Slave Next Door. For further reading he recommends South to the Naktong, North to the Yalu, by Roy Edgar Appleman, and the monograph “Task Force Smith: The Lesson Never Learned,” by Major John Garrett.

Originally published in the July 2014 issue of Military History. To subscribe, click here.

Women in Post-War Germany

Post-War life for German women was harsh. Trümmerfrau (literally translated as ruins woman or rubble woman) is the German-language name for women who, in the aftermath of World War II, helped clear and reconstruct the bombed cities of Germany and Austria. With hundreds of cities having suffered significant bombing and firestorm damage through aerial attacks (and in some cases, ground fighting), and with many men dead or prisoners of war, this monumental task fell to a large degree on women, creating the term.

9th July 1945: Women in post-war Berlin, East Germany, form a ‘chain gang’ to pass pails of rubble to a rubble dump, to clear bombed areas in the Russian sector of the city.

Four million out of the sixteen million homes in Germany were destroyed during Allied bombings in World War II, with another four million damaged. Between 1945 and 1946, the Allied powers, in both West Germany and East Germany, ordered all women between 15 and 50 years of age to participate in the postwar cleanup. Trümmerfrauen, both volunteers and regular workers, worked in all weather. Their role was also considered important in changing post-war gender roles, though the concept of women as independent workers was taken up more eagerly in the official views of East Germany than in West Germany, where, once peace and economic prosperity was restored, a tendency reemerged in some parts of society to return women to their traditional family role only.

The fall of the Nazi government resulted in the establishment of the FDR and GDR in 1949. Post-war Germanys offered many more opportunities and provisions for German women. In West Germany, for example, it was written in the Basic Law of 1949 that women were equal in status to men. They were given the right to possess property upon the divorce or death of their spouse.

In the GDR (German Democratic Republic), women were given many opportunities – from the right of employment to a certain abortion policy. The rights and privileges granted to German women after World War II were, however, not implemented very well. Laws were written, but they were not practiced in everyday life. More importantly, many of the perceived privileges given to women were often made out of necessity and did not improve the lives of the women.

The German reunification process has not been just one of political and economic unification, but also has involved the merging of two very different societies. One similarity between the two countries was the fact that the social and political environments of both were male-dominated. Even so, the FRG and the former GDR differed significantly with respect to the roles that women played in the professional world and at home.

When the GDR became five new Länder (states) in the FRG, many old East German laws and culture were rejected and the GDR was expected to conform to West German standards concerning law and culture. Because of political doctrine, approximately 90 percent of women in the GDR were in the labor force. They benefited from such provisions as a comprehensive child care program, abortion rights and extensive job training. Many of these benefits were lost in the reunification process. In contrast, women in the FRG had a much lower labor force participation rate, lacked adequate child care, had extremely limited abortion rights and had much less access to job training than women in the former GDR.

Currently, women in the recently reunified Germany are striving to obtain true equality. The main efforts at this time are being directed towards equality in the workplace, which is still dominated by men in the higher levels of management, and also towards equal pay for similar work.

Impact and criticism

The Feminine Mystique was one of many catalysts for the second-wave feminist movement (1960s–80s). By the end of the 1980s, however, its flaws had been clearly identified. Its arguments, broadly speaking, were less relevant, because twice as many women were in the workforce as had been during the 1950s. Furthermore, feminists of colour, notably bell hooks, found Friedan’s manifesto both racist and classist, not at all applicable to African Americans and other working-class women who joined the labour force from necessity. Social historian Daniel Horowitz, in Betty Friedan and the Making of The Feminine Mystique (1998), revealed that Friedan had been dishonest about her vantage point, which she claimed was that of a suburban mother and housewife. She had been a leftist radical activist from the time she was at Smith College. It was, he concluded, a necessary fiction if both she and her feminist ideas were to be given a chance to take root. Still other critics noted that she based some of her theories on studies that have since proved inaccurate.

Despite the ensuing criticism, the book undeniably galvanized many women to think about their roles and identities in society. Since its first publication, it has been reissued numerous times with additions—by Friedan and other feminist writers and scholars—that provide further context.

Watch the video: Израиль. Русское подворье в центре Иерусалима (July 2022).


  1. Ghedi

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  2. Mogor

    A very valuable thought

  3. Kort

    What a funny topic

  4. Iphitus

    Sorry for interfering, but in my opinion this topic is already out of date.

  5. Calvino

    curious, and the analog is?

  6. Arvie

    Yes, really. So it happens. Enter we'll discuss this question. Here or in PM.

  7. Elwin

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