Story of the WWI Christmas Truce

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Men from the Royal Dublin Fusiliers meet their German counterparts in no man's land somewhere in the deadly Ypres Salient, December 26, 1914.

World War I: 100 Plus Years Later

by Mike Dash/SmithsonianMag.com

Even at the distance of a century, no war seems more terrible than World War I. In the four years between 1914 and 1918, it killed or wounded more than 25 million people–peculiarly horribly, and (in popular opinion, at least) for less apparent purpose than did any other war before or since. Yet there were still odd moments of joy and hope in the trenches of Flanders and France, and one of the most remarkable came during the first Christmas of the war, a few brief hours during which men from both sides on the Western Front laid down their arms, emerged from their trenches, and shared food, carols, games and comradeship.

Their truce–the famous Christmas Truce–was unofficial and illicit. Many officers disapproved, and headquarters on both sides took strong steps to ensure that it could never happen again. While it lasted, though, the truce was magical, leading even the sober Wall Street Journal to observe: “What appears from the winter fog and misery is a Christmas story, a fine Christmas story that is, in truth, the most faded and tattered of adjectives: inspiring.”



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3 COMMENTS

  1. ___Mrs. Duff,

    May you, Mr. Duff & the “Entire VT Family” who
    Work Very Hard & Educate us throughout the Year” have

    “A Healthy, Peaceful & Happy Merry Christmas”

  2. and the sad thing about all the wars is that they all call themselves Christians, a man of peace abused for war purposes

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