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The Christmas Truce of World War I

  1. Nov 21, 2005 #1

    Ivan Seeking

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    http://www.guardian.co.uk/worldlatest/story/0,1280,-5429989,00.html

    http://www.firstworldwar.com/features/christmastruce.htm
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 22, 2005 #2

    Astronuc

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    How they could establish a truce, greet the enemy in Peace, and then go back to fighting is beyond me. They couldn't simply question the insanity of what they were doing and just not fight? They couldn't simply come to terms with the fact that they dying and killing for nothing but someone's vanity?
     
  4. Dec 10, 2005 #3
    War has alot of weird stuff in it like that.WWI was fought primarly with Trench warfare which the hardest of all types of warfare.I think they came up with truce because it whould help imporve the moral on both sides moral so I think they there doing because that they could booth benfit from it.
     
  5. Dec 11, 2005 #4

    iansmith

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  6. Dec 11, 2005 #5

    selfAdjoint

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    Nope. And this indicates how far civilian thinking is and always has been from soldier thinking. It doesn't make civilians better, for "Freedom is founded on the deaths of men" (Oliver Wendell Holmes).
     
  7. Dec 12, 2005 #6

    Ivan Seeking

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    They say that just beneath the civilized skin lies the wild animal, but this makes me wonder if we're looking at things the wrong way. It would seem that in this case the wild animal was the system. The men just wanted to play ball and celebrate Christmas.
     
  8. Dec 13, 2005 #7
    Considering that state societies and the system in general have committed a remarkable amount of atrocities against itself, through methods such as conscription, firebombing, massacres, invokage of genocide, the use of tactical nuclear weapons, etc; that statement isn't far from the truth.

    Unfortunately this means that even the most basic aspects of humanity (such as empathy and compassion) are nullified in the face of war, and soldiers (even though they are human themselves) are expected to repress it. This does not always occur, and we see incidents like the Christmas Truce arising.
     
  9. Dec 30, 2005 #8
    s

    I think the Christmas truce simply reflects how world war one was anything but a peoples war. The soldiers were just the unquestioning pawns deployed by the pro-war elite and had no deep feelings of hate toward the other side.
    Would we have done this with the Nazis?
     
  10. Dec 24, 2008 #9

    Ivan Seeking

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    A Christmas bump.
     
  11. Mar 22, 2009 #10
    The Christmas truce was not made by any of the military leaders of the war, but by those in the trenches. The fillm "Joyeux Noel" is a fairly accurate depiction of the thing. It occured in 1914, when people still believed that the war would only last another couple of months. In later years, military commanders tried thier best to schedule raids and bombings to coincide with Christmas so that these sorts of events owuld not happen again.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas_truce
     
  12. Mar 22, 2009 #11
    There was a report that the French were so outraged by the unpatriotic behavior of the troops that they executed the cat who made friends with the Germans.
     
  13. Apr 9, 2009 #12
    yep, they did do that. bloody french.
     
  14. Jul 14, 2009 #13
    This happened frequently, and not just at Christmas, in the American Civil War. Both sides traded coffee,sugar, tobacco etc and even shared meals. There were baseball games between Southern and Northern forces. They parted company with a "See you in hell Johnny Reb/Yankee"; and then they went back to killing each other with a fury that was often up close and personal. The Civil War remains the bloodiest war in American history with 600,000 soldiers killed. Based on the current US population, that would be equivalent to 6 million. To put that into perspective, the US losses in WWII were 400,000 when the US population was about half what it is today.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2009
  15. Dec 20, 2010 #14
    To my understanding the truce ended on Christmas Eve with some over eager rifleman starting some shooting...
    Really horribl.
     
  16. Mar 3, 2011 #15
    The Christmas truce was a series of widespread unofficial ceasefires that took place along the Western Front around Christmas of 1914, during the First World War. Through the week leading up to Christmas, parties of German and British soldiers began to exchange seasonal greetings and songs between their trenches; on occasion, the tension was reduced to the point that individuals would walk across to talk to their opposite numbers bearing gifts. On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, many soldiers from both sides – as well as, to a lesser degree, from French units – independently ventured into "No man's land", where they mingled, exchanging food and souvenirs. As well as joint burial ceremonies, several meetings ended in carol-singing. Troops from both sides had also been so friendly as to play games of football with one another.
     
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