War's a nasty business. And not just because of the things we do to the enemy, with our tanks and our bombs and our bombs and our guns -- sorry, we accidentally started singing the lyrics to "Zombie" by The Cranberries for a second there.
No, during a war, we can even be extraordinarily dickish to our own guys. Throughout history, governments have tricked, tormented, and otherwise trolled their own populations during various conflicts. Here are six of the most extreme examples.
Random Women Heckled Men (To Fight In World War I)
Our modern, professional armies have more or less moved past the need for conscription, relying on recruitment programs that promise opportunity, travel, and brotherhood to potential recruits. But in the days of our great-grandparents, when the need for men to shoot and get shot was greater, they had to do things the old-fashioned way -- with a good, hard shaming.
In England in 1914, not long after World War I began, Admiral Charles Fitzgerald formed a group for ladies called the Order of the White Feather, whose sole purpose was to humiliate every man of fighting age who wasn't in uniform. The ladies of the Order would pass out white feathers to civilian men, not to provoke the tickle fight you'd get if you tried this stunt today, but to instead remind these men that they were giant chickens. If that was too subtle, nasty notes also often accompanied the feathers, to further drive the message home.
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"Bawk bawk bawk bawk!"