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MB_Avro_UK
12-24-2005, 01:25 PM
Hi all,

Some of you may be amazed by this, but five months into WW1 there was an unofficial truce at Christmas 1914 between British and German troops.

Soldiers met in 'no man's' land.They played football and swapped gifts.In many sectors the unofficial truce lasted into the New Year.Troops who had been trying to kill each other became friends for a short time. Christmas carols could be heard being sung by both sides and this started the truce.

The Generals on both sides heard of these events and ordered that such comraderie should stop http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/51.gif

Here's a link with pics:

http://www.firstworldwar.com/features/christmastruce.htm

Christmas is a special time,
MB_Avro

MB_Avro_UK
12-24-2005, 01:25 PM
Hi all,

Some of you may be amazed by this, but five months into WW1 there was an unofficial truce at Christmas 1914 between British and German troops.

Soldiers met in 'no man's' land.They played football and swapped gifts.In many sectors the unofficial truce lasted into the New Year.Troops who had been trying to kill each other became friends for a short time. Christmas carols could be heard being sung by both sides and this started the truce.

The Generals on both sides heard of these events and ordered that such comraderie should stop http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/51.gif

Here's a link with pics:

http://www.firstworldwar.com/features/christmastruce.htm

Christmas is a special time,
MB_Avro

Chuck_Older
12-24-2005, 01:33 PM
Good book about it called "Silent Night"

MB_Avro_UK
12-24-2005, 01:53 PM
Hi Chuck,

A Scottish poet of Great War vintage, Frederick Niven, may have got it right in his "A Carol from Flanders," which closed,

O ye who read this truthful rime
From Flanders, kneel and say:
God speed the time when every day
Shall be as Christmas Day.

Best Regards and a wee dram of Laphroaig,
MB_Avro

Hans_Schultz
12-24-2005, 01:56 PM
what many people forget is that there was still fighting along many parts of the western front during the christmas "truce".

ploughman
12-24-2005, 01:58 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Hans_Schultz:
what many people forget is that there was still fighting along many parts of the western front during the christmas "truce". </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I think that's the point.

MB_Avro_UK
12-24-2005, 02:07 PM
Hey Ploughman....good point http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

This song is based on a true story from the front lines of World War I France.

According to a recent source, Ian Calhoun, a Scot, was the commanding officer of the British forces involved in the story. He was subsequently court-martialed for 'consorting with the enemy' and sentenced to death. Only George V spared him from that fate.
-- John McCutcheon

My name is Francis Toliver, I come from Liverpool.
Two years ago the war was waiting for me after school.
To Belgium and to Flanders, to Germany to here
I fought for King and country I love dear.

'Twas Christmas in the trenches, where the frost so bitter hung
The frozen fields of France were still, no Christmas song was sung.
Our families back in England were toasting us that day
Their brave and glorious lads so far away.

I was lying with my messmate on the cold an rocky ground
When across the lines of battle came a most peculiar sound.
Says I, "Now listen up, me boys!" each soldier strained to hear
As one young German voice sang out so clear.

"He's singing bloody well, you know!" my partner says to me.
Soon, one by one, each German voice joined in harmony.
The cannons rested silent, the gas clouds rolled no more
As Christmas brought us respite from the war.

As soon as they were finished and a reverent pause was spent
"God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen" struck up some lads from Kent.
The next they sang was "Stille Nacht," "'Tis 'Silent Night,'" says I
And in two tongues one song filled up that sky.

"There's someone coming towards us!" the front line sentry cried.
All sights were fixed on one lone figure trudging from their side.
His truce flag, like a Christmas star, shone on that plain so bright
As he, bravely, strode unarmed into the night.

Soon one by one on either side walked into NO Man's Land
With neither gun nor bayonet we met there hand to hand.
We shared some secret brandy and wished each other well
And in a flare lit soccer game we gave 'em hell.

We traded chocolates, cigarettes, and photographs from home.
These sons and fathers far away from families of their own.
Young Sanders played his squeezebox and they had a violin
This curious and unlikely band of men.

Soon daylight stole upon us and France was France once more
With sad farewells we each prepared to settle back to war
But the question haunted every heart that lived that wondrous night
"Whose family have I fixed within my sights?"

'Twas Christmas in the trenches where the frost, so bitter hung.
The frozen fields of France were warmed as songs of peace were sung.
For the walls they'd kept between us to exact the work of war
Had been crumbled and were gone forevermore.

My name is Francis Toliver, in Liverpool I dwell,
Each Christmas come since World War I, I've learned its lessons well,
That the ones who call the shots won't be among the dead and lame
And on each end of the rifle we're the same.


Best Regards,
MB_Avro

thefruitbat
12-24-2005, 04:36 PM
despite a general staff order forbidding any fraternising in the run up to christmas 1915, there was in fact still one incidence, and of all the regiments it was the guards. In less than 40 mins a horrified senior officer ordered them back, and lord caven was forced to offer a rather grovelled apology to fisrt army headquaters. The event was hushed up, and no reports appeared in the newspapers.

of course this is all very minor compared to 1914, but maybee even more suprising considering by this time there had already been 250,000 british casulties on the western front 1/3dead, and the strict orders forbidding such action.

happy christmas

frutibat

Xiolablu3
12-24-2005, 06:52 PM
I read that when the Senoir officers ordered them back to the lines, many men on both sides refused. And so to end this 'friendship' in one sector, a British Officer took his pistol and shot one of the German soldiers in front of everyone.

This started the battle again http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

Not sure if this is true, but I have read about it in more than one source.

HotelBushranger
12-25-2005, 12:38 AM
Yep, some British officers weren't happy with everyone being happy and ordered another unit to fire into the trenches, Britons and Germans alike. Officers of that sort in those times, especially Generals, were the dumbest, coldests b@stards ever http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/51.gif

LEXX_Luthor
12-25-2005, 01:04 AM
Good link ... 1914 THE GAME ~&gt; http://www.wsws.org/articles/2003/jul2003/xmas-j17.shtml

HotelBushranger
12-25-2005, 03:58 AM
http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

woofiedog
12-25-2005, 06:08 AM
Excellent story... Thank's for Posting

LEBillfish
12-25-2005, 08:11 AM
I'm a firm believer in that given one brave man from each side in a conflict, and the time for them to exhibit that bravery demonstrating to the others near they need not be afraid, and can be courageous enough to not blindly hate.......That the true nature of men will show and swell.......As "peace" is the nature of the common man, "war" that of governments and those that wish to govern.

How different things will be when the common man realizes he is actually the one holding the power.

The Christmas Truce & one similar from WWII always good stories......One of the finer told this time of year.

PraetorHonoris
12-25-2005, 08:41 AM
In Germany, there is a movie in cinemas now, "Merry Christmas" dealing with this Christmas Truce. It is quite good, although sometimes a bit declamatory.
A very nice movie for Christmas anyway!

http://nord-ouest.fr/joyeux/index_vo.htm

Bremspropeller
12-25-2005, 12:19 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by HotelBushranger:
Yep, some British officers weren't happy with everyone being happy and ordered another unit to fire into the trenches, Britons and Germans alike. Officers of that sort in those times, especially Generals, were the dumbest, coldests b@stards ever http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/51.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

That's because THEY are NOT dying in the foxholes http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

ploughman
12-25-2005, 01:14 PM
Officers had a higher risk of death than other ranks, of the top of my head it was something like 17% to 12% in the British Army.

Flakwalker
12-25-2005, 01:27 PM
Is a nice history http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif, on WW2 didnt happen the same?

airdale1960
12-25-2005, 01:37 PM
As long as men in power force there will on their constituance, there will be no peace. From the beginning of time until the present this is how it has been. I have ceased praying for lasting peace, it will never be.
A soldier in Iraq.

MB_Avro_UK
12-25-2005, 01:40 PM
Thanks to PraetorHonoris for a good link about a new film on this subject http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

It's interesting that fighting soldiers have more respect for each other than they have for Politicians and Generals??

'Silent Night' to you all....

Season's Greetings,
MB_Avro

HotelBushranger
12-25-2005, 09:49 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by MB_Avro_UK:
Thanks to PraetorHonoris for a good link about a new film on this subject http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

It's interesting that fighting soldiers have more respect for each other than they have for Politicians and Generals??

'Silent Night' to you all....

Season's Greetings,
MB_Avro </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

It's because its the politicians who put them there in the first place, the enemy are just like them, doing their bit and sacrificing themselves for their country. It's like a quote I remember: "All wars are civil wars, because all men are brothers."

@Bremspropeller: Yep, it's because (and I mean like high ranking officers Ploughey) they're all cooped up in chateaus all around the countryside. Just like in Blackadder (again with the quotes http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif): (Melchett)"If you should happen to falter, remember that Darling and I are behind you"... (Blackadder) "About 35 miles behind you..."