The Christmas cease fire of 1914

Discussion in 'General Global Topics' started by Againsheila, Dec 16, 2009.

  1. Againsheila
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    Againsheila Gold Member

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    Considering all the controversy surrounding our national holiday, I think it's time to reflect on what this holiday once meant, around the world.....

    The Christmas Cease Fire of 1914 – A Look at Military History — You Served® – Veteran and Military Blog and Military Podcast

    The Christmas Cease Fire of 1914 – A Look at Military History

    July 29, 2008 By You Served Editorial Staff
    Posted in Military History

    “A Look at Military History” is an ongoing feature of the military blog here on You Served, brought to you by VA MortgageCenter.com.

    “Peace on Earth, Good will toward men.” It is a difficult concept to have hoped for, in war time. Yet in December of 1914, Good will was so desired that it was achieved among soldiers of Britain, Germany, France and Belgium, despite opposition from some commanding officers.

    The winter of 1914 was a particularly harsh one. Along a 27 mile western front through Belgium and France enemies faced each other from as little as 30 to 70 yards away. Soldiers were cold and miserable in muddy frozen trenches. Each side could not help but wonder about the person they were facing. Surely they were miserable too. Could the enemy possibly be as bad as they had been told?
    December 1914 was the fifth month of what would turn out to be a 52 month war. Pope Benedict XV had suggested a temporary cease fire to allow for the celebration of Christmas. Many officials were reluctant.

    However, soldiers and their families were not. On Christmas Eve, German soldiers began to decorate their trenches with small evergreen trees that had been sent from home. The trees were lit with candles. Initially, British soldiers suspected a trap; however, as they began to hear Christmas Carols being sung, they dared to think otherwise.

    With trenches in such close proximity, the soldiers exchanged carols. At one point both sides sang the same carol. Often the two sides would exchange pleasantries such as “Merry Christmas to you.” The unofficial cease fire continued throughout Christmas Eve and Christmas day. Opposing soldiers met in “No Man’s Land” the area between the opposing trenches. There they exchanged gifts of cigarettes and food. If words could not be understood, gestures were used. In one remarkable event German and British soldiers engaged in a game of soccer. The game continued until the ball was popped on barbed wire.

    On a more somber note, the truce also allowed for the dead to be buried. In rare instances, joint services were held for the fallen. For the majority, the truce lasted for only the Christmas celebration; however, in some areas along the 27 mile western front the Christmas truce lasted through the New Year. Peace on Earth; Good will toward men had prevailed even in wartime. Inevitably war returned and continued for another 47 months
     
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  2. Coyote
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    Coyote Varmint Staff Member Senior USMB Moderator Gold Supporting Member

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    Thank you for posting this - it is one of my favorite Christmas stories :)


    There's a song based on it too:
    [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QTXhZ4uR6rs[/ame]
     
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  3. Againsheila
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    Againsheila Gold Member

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    Thank you so much for that song......now I have something in my eye........

    I once asked my mother why so many non-Christians celebrated Christmas, she told me this story and said, "Don't you think the world is better for having one holiday where everyone can celebrate Peace on Earth and Goodwill toward men? Christmas isn't just for Christians."
     
  4. uscitizen
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    uscitizen Senior Member

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    I remember that. It was cold.
     
  5. Gunny
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    Gunny Gold Member

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    Why have people made a big deal of this? Do y'all think we are not humans?

    Minus the morons who like to come along and talk stuff and post political BS, WE are the last ones that want war. It's OUR asses hanging out there in the wind.

    We WANT to be at home for Christmas. We WANT to see our children learn to walk and talk. We don't want to die anymore than the next guy.

    We just have the balls to do what needs being done, and put an ideal before ourselves.

    These guys were sick of killing, sick of mud, and sick of death. Even the commanders couldn't stop them. They just said "fuck war."

    Maybe somebody ought to get a damned clue.:eusa_eh:
     
  6. uscitizen
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    uscitizen Senior Member

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    Back then perhaps the soldiers were not so programmed to hat the enemy and fought becuase they were ordered to and it was their job. Besides the other side was shooting at them.
     
  7. Gunny
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    Gunny Gold Member

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    Bull. Ever look at WWI propaganda? They were MORE programmed to hate the enemy and there was no PC. The enemy was portrayed to the American public and military as subhuman and killing them was cool.

    It's more like what you claim NOW. You do your job.

    Think that makes everything okay, do you? Just a job? Walk a mile in MY combat boots MFer ....
     
  8. Diuretic
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    Diuretic Permanently confused

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    Pussy. It wasn't THAT cold. The winter of 1896 was a lot worse.
     
  9. Modbert
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    Modbert Daydream Believer Supporting Member

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    Fuck you both. Should of been around during the Ice Age. :eusa_eh:
     
  10. mightypeon
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    mightypeon Active Member

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    Concerning the Propaganda:
    Basically, the Krauts hated the Frenchies (mutual), respected the Brits (not that mutual) disrespected the Russians (not mutual either) and loled at the Italians, they didnt care much about the US.
    The Frenchies hated the Krauts, didnt care much about the Austrians and though they were the greatest.
    The Russians had a fair bit of respect for the Krauts, not so much for the Hungarians and Ottomans.
    The Brits thought the Krauts were smelly Sauerkraut eaters, thought French people smell, thought Russians are mindless hordes, thought Austrians run around with medieval pikes and thought that the ottomans would run away quickly.
    The Belgians hated the krauts.
    The Austro-Hungarians hated the Serbs, disliked the Russians and also loled at the Italians. (at the Isonzo, Italy staged a sneak attack on the Austrians while having a 8:1 superiority. They lost.)

    The US somehow was fine with first paying for the British war effort, than beeing used as human shields on the Lusitiania and then beeing used as cannon fodder by various allied generals.
     

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