Points: The Blog of the Alcohol & Drugs History Society has published a fascinating series of five articles on their favorite subject vis-à-vis the Great War. They have been written with wit and a fine eye for detail by contributing editor Nicholas K. Johnson and are well illustrated. Below are Johnson's introduction to the series and a few of the images used in the articles.
World War I has often been associated with intoxication in popular culture. Cocktails like the French 75, so named for the kick of a common artillery piece, became popular during the interwar period. During the “Spirit of 1914” — a burst of popular enthusiasm upon the war’s outbreak – European intellectuals likened war hysteria to mass intoxication. After the war, Ernst Jünger depicted modern combat as an intoxicating rush (or Rausch) in his popular novelizations of his own experiences on the Western Front. More recently, HBO’s Boardwalk Empire explored drug abuse, alcoholism, and the rise of organized crime through the stories of traumatized World War I veterans Jimmy Darmody and Richard Harrow. This first entry explores how alcoholic intoxicants like wine and absinthe were used and depicted during the war.
|Rum for the British soldiers was shipped to the front in ceramic jugs |
stamped 'SRD' (Service Rum Diluted). It was a joke among the
soldiers that it really meant, "Seldom Reaches Destination!"
I couldn't find a one-page index to all the articles without resorting to the search function, so here are the links to all five of them.
1: Poilu and His Wine
2: The British Rum Ration
3: The American Expeditionary Forces and Prohibition
4: The German Army and Intoxication
5:Tobacco in the Trenches
|New Zealanders Receiving Their Rum Ration|