“War is months of boredom punctuated by moments of sheer terror.”
The earliest this often-quoted saying can be traced is to World War I – the war where soldiers famously spent endless hours waiting in trenches for the next attack. Extreme boredom is a morale problem, however: one that WWI soldiers and commanders of all nations and militaries sought to solve with a wide variety of entertainment.
The next exhibition to open at the National WWI Museum and Memorial, Entertaining the Troops, gives a peek into the spare hours in the life of a WWI soldier on and off the battlefield, whether they were filled with sports, gambling and card games, or music, food and drink, or even organized performances and dances.
Entertaining the Troops will be on view in Exhibit Hall starting Feb. 23, 2023.