'La Baionnette'



a French Soldiers' Humor Magazine

above : Trench philosophers - '20 years old and never a day of solitude'


two advertisements for special editions of 'La Baionnette'

left : on leave
right : life in the cantonments

left : wartime female replacements - lady 'postman' and lady policeofficer
right : a collection of silhouette drawings


'La Baionnette' was a newcomer on the newstands in France during the Great War, having been expressely founded to cater to soldiers' sense of humor. It followed the proven formula already long pioneered by other humorous Parisian magazines of printing eye-catching and colorful illustrations both on the cover pages as well as inside. It was somewhat more than a magazine of large-sized cartoons though, for it also contained short stories, commentaries and articles as well as a multitude of drawings and illustrations, often by the leading commercial artists of the day such as Herouard, Fabiano, Leonnec, Icart, Hautot and many others.

The humor, though somewhat incomprehensible nowadays, was all in good taste and displayed no vindicative or hateful undertone against the German enemy, which is not to say that 'La Baionnette' wasn't fiercely patriotic, it was, just as most all French publications were at the time. However being a common soldier's magazine there was more than a trace of Republican egalatarianism and anti-authorianism present in the many finely executed and printed cartoons and commentaries.

Somewhat unusal for it's day and age, 'La Baionnette' knew how to poke fun at typical French situations, traits and customs without apparently upsetting anyone in the process. Most issues were built around a common theme, usually a subject regarding the war-time situation and familiar to most readers, such as 'Going on Leave' - 'War and Women' - 'Female Replacements' - 'Wine' - 'Life in Cantonnments' - 'Trench Philosophers' - 'Fetishes and Mascots' and many others.

'La Baionnette' was a successful magazine and much appreciated by soldiers and civilians alike, acquiring a reputation for excellence and artistic accomplishments lasting to the present time.


several early advertisements for 'la Baionnette'



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