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The Christmas Truce - December 1914

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posted on Dec, 22 2005 @ 12:45 PM
I was watching "Mail Call" this morning on THC and old Sgt. Ermey put on a segment about the fabled Christmas Truce on the Western Front in December 1914. It struck me that the opposing soldiers in the trenches thought enough about giving proper burial to their war dead that they struck up a truce on Christmas Eve 1914 in order to clear and bury the dead from the 'No Man's Land' between them.

I did a little searching around and found a film being released about the event. "Joyeux Noel" (yes, its French), revisits the the story of this miraculous truce in the midst of trench warfare, the exchanges that ensued, and the soccer game played amongst recent bitter rivals with a partially filled sandbag.

According to some accounts, following the truce some units had to be transferred to other areas of the front because they refused to engage in further hostilities with their newfound friends.

Hearing and reading about this story gives me hope for the future of our current conflicts. Of course, the powers that be in 1914 couldn't allow the truce to continue, and several years of horrible bloodshed followed, with nothing ever really being decided. Have we become any more enlightened about the nature of and motivation for extended conflict since then?

Joyeux Noel

Christmas tale from long ago rekindles hopes for peace

posted on Dec, 23 2005 @ 10:34 PM
Thanks for your post about the truce. I have read several accounts of the trench warefare in WW1 and these accounts of the warfare were horrible. It is a amazing thing that men under such inhumane and inhospitable circumstances can find it in them to stop the madness even if for a short time.
I am often given to reading the poem by John McCrae "In Flanders Fields " and have it in my bookmark section for reference.

I recall reading of accounts like this in the American Civil war too. Most of them lasted only a short time and though they occurred they were frowned upon by the high brass in the military.

Thanks for a great post,

posted on Dec, 24 2005 @ 09:08 AM
Yes, this event is an example to us all that even in the midst of

from link below
wet soddened trenches, cold sleety winds, filth, dirt, vermin, and all the horrors of war

the hearts of brave fighting men can be softened at the prospect of peace. In fact it was the celebration of the coming into this world of the "Prince of Peace" that prompted this truce.

The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us. - from the First Joyous Mystery

I found an article this morning in the paper that nearly overwhelmed me, have quoted from it above, and will link to it below. It is a reported first hand account from a soldier who was there, on the scene, in December 1914.

One Christmas Eve

posted on Dec, 28 2005 @ 02:11 PM
When I heard this story I was amazed that any humanity could survive in those terrible conditions. The relationship those men developed in that time was amazing and it sounded like they had a good time while it lasted(except for the german sharpshooters). I was really dissappointed when at the end the german sharpsooter shot he British commander a few days after whe he had went over to visit with the germans.

posted on Dec, 28 2005 @ 02:16 PM
As I write this, there are still four documented survivors of the British Army who actually fought in the Great War and are still alive.

The powers that be were furious about this fraternisation with the enemy, and so for subsequent Christmases, the British Army made such conduct an offence punishable by Court Martial.

posted on Dec, 28 2005 @ 08:09 PM
My preacher at church used the Christmas truce as part of our Christmas Eve service this year. It was kind of cool, because I had never heard of it before and because it is a great example of the good will that comes with the season. If it were only like that all the time.

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