War is bad enough, but extra war?

 

 

Here's an image whose implications are completely lost today:

 

 

 

 

Thanks to cartoons, we associate the steam whistles with factories, but these are set in urban locales, and curiously German Expressionist ones at that. They're blowing because WAR has been declared - sorry, EXTRA WAR - and this is the call for all able-bodied males to run down to the recruitment office!

 

 

In one side go several species of civilians; disciplined, fully-armed automatons march out the other side, headed straight for the front.

 

 

Oswald can't wait! Already has his gun.

 

 

But first, he stops off at Oswaldina's house for one last visit, and impress the female by showing how he intends to stab fellow sentient beings.

 

 

Once he gets to the front, her image comforts him amist the terror.

 

 

The cartoon is tired of Oswald by now, and switches to the comic potential of mechanized warfare. The jokes just write themselves:

 

 

You'll have to watch the whole thing to get the full effect, and wonder why they thought the war could be played for laffs. Especially since it's not particularly funny. In fact it's damned grim. After this frame . . .

 

 

. . . the shell explodes, and everyone vanishes. The war wasn't ten years gone.

Oswald is hit by a shell, and shatters to pieces. Lucky his girlfriend shows up:

 

 

 

 

But she reconstitutes him in the miserable, bombed-out field hospital. Note the amputation implement on the wall:

 

 

 

If you're thinking "Wow, wasn't Walt an ambulance driver in France in 1918, and if so, could this be his way of working through the issues he had after all he'd seen?" Yes and no. He got to France after the Armistice, working for the Red Cross.

Here's the flick.