THE WORLD WAR ONE CHRISTMAS TRUCE – 1914 – Marilyn Armstrong

The Christmas truce (German: Waffenstillstand; French: Trêve de Noël) was a series of widespread but unofficial ceasefires along the Western Front during the Christmas season of 1914. During the days leading to Christmas day, German and British soldiers left their trenches to exchange greetings. To talk man-to-man, exchange personal information, share food and drink.

From The Illustrated London News of January 9, 1915: "British and German Soldiers Arm-in-Arm Exchanging Headgear: A Christmas Truce between Opposing Trenches"

From The Illustrated London News of January 9, 1915: “British and German Soldiers Arm-in-Arm Exchanging Headgear: A Christmas Truce between Opposing Trenches”

World War I had been raging for only four months. Soldiers on both sides were trapped in trenches and extremely wary of sniper fire. On battlefields mired in mud, frozen with snow and ice, soldiers emerged from their holes in a rare, spontaneous outbreak of peace.

Both sides — most notably in the southern portion of the Ypres Salient — combatants briefly laid down their weapons and met in No Man’s Land.

On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, they mingled. Exchanged food and souvenirs. There were joint burial ceremonies and prisoner swaps. Several meetings ended in carol-singing.

The high command on both sides issued warnings to all soldiers that such fraternization would make participating soldiers subject to charges of treason. Not surprisingly, there were far fewer spontaneous truces the following year and virtually none by 1916.

A sad commentary on human “civilization” when peace, however temporary, is called treason.



Categories: Christmas, History, Marilyn Armstrong, Movies, War and battles

Tags: , , , , , , ,

19 replies

  1. Truly a rare moment in time.
    Shortly destroyed by the politicians. “Get back to killing lads.”

    Like

  2. Nifty new page ‘look’! Wow. Yes it is a very sad commentary on the world at large when peace is considered treasonous. Fie on those who uphold that stupid idea. Long live peace!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I remember hearing about that. It almost sounds civilized, if war can ever be civilized.
    Leslie

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I don’t think I’ve seen this film (don’t recognise from the vid) but I have seen some films where this theme was widely explored. Maybe I read about the ‘possible side effects between fighting parties’ too, or even it was shown in videos with explanatory musical renditions. I don’t know but I now also found this link:

    Whenever I think I’m done by in a hard way, I try to remember what others, uncounted numbers of humans, have suffered and are suffering every day and I’m deeply thankful for the little harm (in comparison) I’m experiencing.

    Have yourselves a festive few days and pass on into the New Year with courage, peace and as few less health issues.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. sorry to correct you but it’s everything but ‘Frieden’ in German, it’s Waffenstillstand….. Only saw this in the first line and will be back for the rest. Maybe you can change that and eliminate my comment. Love, K

    Like

  6. this is such a stunning event

    Liked by 1 person

  7. There is a saying that goes like “Imagine there is war but nobody goes there”.

    I like that saying and wish that would be true. Those in power want us to go to war and everyone just says “Nah, that’s not my thing, do it yourself”. Sadly, that is just a wishful dream.

    I learned about the Christmas Truce 1914 through this movie. At that time I found a Wikipedia entry about it and learned it actually happened.

    Merry Christmas Marilyn…come good into the new year. I wish you happiness and good health.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I learned about the truce from this movie too. Actually, although I had read about the war I several history books, this movie had a really profound effect on me. It took me nearly 35 years to get a copy of it. I still have trouble believing how horrible that war was … and how it was the beginning of our endless wars.

      Liked by 2 people

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