On this second pandemic Christmas, I thought that it would be a good idea to bring up one of the strangest events of World War 1.
At the outset of the war, both sides felt that this would be little more than a skirmish that would be over by Christmas – after all, no one believed that a modern war could drag on for more than 5 months. By the time that Christmas rolled around both sides had firmly dug themselves into trenches along the Western Front, the battle line that stretched from the North Sea to Switzerland.
In places, trenches were so close together that troops on both sides could call out to the others. News and greetings were often exchanged. In fact, in several of the quiet sectors, troops on one side would start singing a song and troops on the other side would join in in their own language.
On Christmas Day, 1914, an informal truce settled in over most of the Western Front. In various places, Germans placed candles on their trenches and on Christmas trees, then continued the celebration by singing Christmas carols. The British responded by singing carols of their own. The two sides continued by shouting Christmas greetings to each other. Soon after that, there were excursions across No Man’s Land, where small gifts were exchanged, such as food, tobacco, alcohol and souvenirs, such as buttons and hats. There are even accounts of soccer matches being played in no-man’s land. Throughout the front, the artillery fell silent.
Throughout the remainder of the war, attempts were made for other seasonal truces, but none succeeded. To read more about this amazing moment in one of the bloodiest wars in history I would suggest that you read Truce1 or view Truce2.
Honour the Fallen; Help the Living!