92 years ago this day, an entire War was put on pause




 
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December 25th, 2006  
Gator
 
 

Topic: 92 years ago this day, an entire War was put on pause


because of the good will of good men.

http://europeanhistory.about.com/library/bldyk12.htm

The Christmas Truce of 1914
Although the popular memory of World War One is normally one of horrific casualties and 'wasted' life, the conflict does have tales of comradeship and peace. One of the most remarkable, and heavily mythologised, events concerns the 'Christmas Truce' of 1914, in which the soldiers of the Western Front laid down their arms on Christmas Day and met in No Man's Land, exchanging food and cigarettes, as well as playing football. The cessation of violence was entirely unofficial and there had been no prior discussion: troops acted spontaneously from goodwill, not orders. Not only did this truce actually happen, but the event was more widespread than commonly portrayed.

There are many accounts of the Christmas truce, the most famous of which concern the meeting of British and German forces; however, French and Belgium troops also took part. The unofficial nature of the truce meant that there was no one single cause or origin; some narratives tell of British troops hearing their German counterparts singing Christmas carols and joining in, while Frank Richards, a private in the Royal Welch Fusiliers, told of how both sides erected signs wishing the other a 'Merry Christmas'. From these small starts some men crossed the lines with their hands up, and troops from the opposing side went to meet them. By the time officers realised what was happening the initial meetings had been made, and most commanders either turned a blind eye or happily joined in.
The fraternisation lasted, in many areas, for the whole of Christmas day. Food and supplies were exchanged on a one to one basis, while in some areas men borrowed tools and equipment from the enemy, in order to quickly improve their own living conditions. Many games of football were played using whatever would suffice for a ball, while bodies that had become trapped within No Man's Land were buried.
Most modern retellings of the Truce finish with the soldiers returning to their trenches and then fighting again the next day, but in many areas the peace lasted much longer. Frank Richard's account explained how both sides refrained from shooting at each other the next day, until the British troops were relieved and they left the front line. In other areas the goodwill lasted for several weeks, bringing a halt to opportunistic sniping, before the bloody conflict once again resumed.

The Frank Richards material comes from the December 2000 edition of BBC History Magazine.
December 25th, 2006  
JulesLee
 
 
wow this shows how... pointless war is kinda.. we fight a random stranger.. where in a different enviroment, we could of been pals.. some wars are needed and some arnt.. this was one of them.. royal family issue and boom
March 11th, 2007  
Easy-8
 
 
It just shows that the troops on the ground facing each other have more in common with with one another than they do with their commanders.
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March 11th, 2007  
bulldogg
 
 
Don't go oversimplifying this too much... easy-8, in this ONE time that it happened it was owing to a common belief system which overrode their secular duties. Don't make the mistake of thinking it is going to happen on ramadan or xmas anytime soon.
March 14th, 2007  
Strongbow
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bulldogg
Don't go oversimplifying this too much... easy-8, in this ONE time that it happened it was owing to a common belief system which overrode their secular duties. Don't make the mistake of thinking it is going to happen on ramadan or xmas anytime soon.

I'll remember that bulldogg.
March 16th, 2007  
The Other Guy
 
 
Wow. That's truly amazing.
 


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