Sunday, December 25, 2005

The Christmas Truce: "So extraordinary was the Christmas truce of 1914 that some no longer believe it could have happened. But as a new film recreates those days, Stanley Weintraub says it was no myth."

Perhaps more than any other incident in the last terrible century of war, the Christmas truce represents its folly and insanity.

Alan Gill has more on the Christmas truce: "The Christmas truce of 1914 is one of the most remarkable incidents of World War I and perhaps of military history. It lasted as long as a week, and took place despite orders that those who fraternised with the enemy would be shot.... For decades the general view has been that the Christmas truce lasted three days (from Christmas Eve to Boxing Day) and that fighting resumed following demands from headquarters. It is now known that in isolated sections, notably that held by the 1st Leicester Regiment, the truce continued until middle or late January.... the Illustrated London News published a stylised picture of the event, calling it "The Light of Peace on Christmas Eve". It showed a German soldier standing at the British lines holding aloft a small Christmas tree. Just looking at it brings tears to the eyes."

However as it is the festive season, I invite my (numberless) readers to beer up, read this, and celebrate.

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