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BS: Christmas Truce (1914)

DigiTrad:
CHRISTMAS 1914
CHRISTMAS IN THE TRENCHES


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Richie Black (misused acct, bad email) 01 Dec 10 - 01:58 PM
open mike 01 Dec 10 - 02:16 PM
GUEST,Patsy 02 Dec 10 - 06:52 AM
Joe_F 02 Dec 10 - 10:11 PM
catspaw49 02 Dec 10 - 10:53 PM
Beer 02 Dec 10 - 11:41 PM
GUEST,Amergin 03 Dec 10 - 09:41 AM
GUEST,Silas 03 Dec 10 - 10:06 AM
EBarnacle 03 Dec 10 - 10:10 AM
saulgoldie 03 Dec 10 - 10:33 AM
open mike 03 Dec 10 - 11:27 AM
eddie1 04 Dec 10 - 12:46 AM
Desert Dancer 04 Dec 10 - 01:08 AM
Richie Black (misused acct, bad email) 04 Dec 10 - 11:11 AM
GUEST,Silas 04 Dec 10 - 12:06 PM
GUEST,Peter Laban 04 Dec 10 - 12:10 PM
Richie Black (misused acct, bad email) 04 Dec 10 - 12:34 PM
GUEST,Silas 04 Dec 10 - 12:51 PM
Richie Black (misused acct, bad email) 04 Dec 10 - 12:54 PM
GUEST,TIA 04 Dec 10 - 01:03 PM
GUEST,Silas 04 Dec 10 - 01:05 PM
Richie Black (misused acct, bad email) 04 Dec 10 - 01:45 PM
GUEST,Silas 04 Dec 10 - 02:52 PM
Richie Black (misused acct, bad email) 04 Dec 10 - 03:10 PM
GUEST,Silas 04 Dec 10 - 03:39 PM
McGrath of Harlow 04 Dec 10 - 05:54 PM
Beer 05 Feb 11 - 08:57 AM
Sandra in Sydney 05 Apr 11 - 07:41 AM
GUEST,Krites 28 Dec 13 - 11:45 AM
Jim Carroll 28 Dec 13 - 12:30 PM
GUEST,Eliza 29 Dec 13 - 09:22 AM
Jim Carroll 29 Dec 13 - 11:43 AM
Keith A of Hertford 29 Dec 13 - 01:54 PM
Keith A of Hertford 29 Dec 13 - 02:07 PM
GUEST,Eliza 29 Dec 13 - 04:27 PM
GUEST,Musket 29 Dec 13 - 05:01 PM
Keith A of Hertford 29 Dec 13 - 05:20 PM
GUEST,Musket 30 Dec 13 - 01:28 AM
Keith A of Hertford 30 Dec 13 - 02:17 AM
Jim Carroll 30 Dec 13 - 02:55 AM
Keith A of Hertford 30 Dec 13 - 03:38 AM
Jim Carroll 30 Dec 13 - 04:25 AM
GUEST,Herr Musket 30 Dec 13 - 04:40 AM
Keith A of Hertford 30 Dec 13 - 04:40 AM
GUEST,Silas 30 Dec 13 - 05:03 AM
GUEST,Musket 30 Dec 13 - 05:13 AM
Keith A of Hertford 30 Dec 13 - 05:20 AM
GUEST,Musket 30 Dec 13 - 07:27 AM
GUEST,Eliza 30 Dec 13 - 07:54 AM
Keith A of Hertford 30 Dec 13 - 08:06 AM

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Subject: BS: Christmas Truce
From: Richie Black (misused acct, bad email)
Date: 01 Dec 10 - 01:58 PM

One of the mythic events of World War I, was the 1914 Christmas Truce which began on Christmas Eve along the British and German lines around Ypres, Belgium.

While it took hold in some areas manned by the French and Belgians, it was not widespread as these nations viewed the Germans as invaders. Along the 27 miles of front manned by the British Expeditionary Force, Christmas Eve 1914 began as a normal day with firing on both sides. While in some areas firing began to slacken through the afternoon, in others it continued at its regular pace.

This impulse to celebrate the holiday season amid the landscape of war has been traced to several theories. Among these was the fact that the war was only four months old and the level of animosity between the ranks was not as high as it would be later in the war.

That's my view of it anyway.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce
From: open mike
Date: 01 Dec 10 - 02:16 PM

several songs memorilaize this truce...the most moving is perhaps the one by John McCutcheon called Christmas in the Trenches. There are others , too. there are most likely other threads where we have discussed this..the search box will reveal these....


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce
From: GUEST,Patsy
Date: 02 Dec 10 - 06:52 AM

Paul McCartney's Pipes of Peace was about that I believe. Wasn't there even a brief game of football before getting back to the war?


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce
From: Joe_F
Date: 02 Dec 10 - 10:11 PM

That's in McCutcheon's song: And in a flare-lit football game we gave 'em hell. I can't even think of that song without crying.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce
From: catspaw49
Date: 02 Dec 10 - 10:53 PM

I would suggest to you THIS THREAD and the ones linked at the top of it for a lot of information as well as John's song and a couple of others regarding the events of that time. John McCutcheon's song "Christmas in the Trenches" is also in the DT.

This was more than "mythic" in the sense of it never happening. Not only did it happen but it was also not a single event but happened in several places and in the best known instance it also lasted a few days. The "Main Event" if you will, is best described in brief at Snopes. Lots of great stuff on the net regarding the event.

I saw a PBS or Discovery program awhile back about a place where relatives of the men often go to celebrate the event......Wish I could remember where or what it was on...................


Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce
From: Beer
Date: 02 Dec 10 - 11:41 PM

I don't like your take on the past events. In fact i wonder if you believe that the WW2 happened.
ad.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce
From: GUEST,Amergin
Date: 03 Dec 10 - 09:41 AM

I can see it now......"One of the mythic events in World War II was the Holocaust...."


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce
From: GUEST,Silas
Date: 03 Dec 10 - 10:06 AM

Myth?
No, it happened and is well documented.
Mike Hardings 'Christmas 1914' is one of the better songs about ths event.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce
From: EBarnacle
Date: 03 Dec 10 - 10:10 AM

If there are no remaining survivors, does that mean it never happened?


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce
From: saulgoldie
Date: 03 Dec 10 - 10:33 AM

Yes, Joe F, and try playing it! After over a hundred times, I am still never sure I will get alltheway through it...unless I treat it like "just another song," which, of course, it is not.

Saul


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce
From: open mike
Date: 03 Dec 10 - 11:27 AM

here is mike harding's song
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ujJD122Yd9U

here are many links to the truce
http://faculty.fullerton.edu/bstarr/CHRISTMAS%20TRUCE%20LINKS.htm

here is the public radio program from 2007
http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2007/12/20/christmastruce/


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce
From: eddie1
Date: 04 Dec 10 - 12:46 AM

The OP has remained strangely silent.
There has been plenty of documentation of the truce which in some parts of the front lasted several days.

Before anyone points to my lack of references, I don't remember where but somewhere I read that an attempt was made by the War Department to hush the whole thing up as they reckoned it would have a "bad effect on morale" if soldiers reckoned "on each end of the rifle we're the same."

Seems that nearly a hundred years later this propaganda has worked on one person anyway!

Eddie


    The lesson is that you should pay no heed to the original poster, and should not even hint at challenging him/her to combat. -Joe Offer, Forum Moderator-


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 04 Dec 10 - 01:08 AM

The OP may have misused the term "mythic" -- I don't believe that he intended to say that it did not happen, but to add some detail.

Cut him some slack, folks.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Richie Black (misused acct, bad email)
Date: 04 Dec 10 - 11:11 AM

Well if Mike Harding wrote a song about it, it must be true !
There was no agreed ceasefire. It is a case that if anything is posted on the Internet, it must be true! Like a magical book that makes anything written in it come true, so is the Internet. Anything that someone posts to the Internet, instantly comes true.

I see some small print appeared above, Such a pity our Forum Moderator wasn't as quick to remove posts by another member who wants me to die a slow death and in pain, see "BS: 800,000 Americans to lose UnEmp. Benefit"
Then again, I am not a member of the Inner Sanctum.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Silas
Date: 04 Dec 10 - 12:06 PM

Hi Richie.

Can we just clear up the question? Are you saying that it did not happen?


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 04 Dec 10 - 12:10 PM

Cormac McConnell's 'Christmas 1914' is another song.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Richie Black (misused acct, bad email)
Date: 04 Dec 10 - 12:34 PM

Silas, people believe the fighting stopped along the lines on Christmas day and everyone hugged eachother and played football, it's simply not true.

The facts.

24 December 1914, Christmas Eve
The weather changes to a hard frost. This makes trench conditions a little more bearable. 98 British soldiers die on this day, many are victims of sniper fire. A German aeroplane drops a bomb on Dover: the first air raid in British history. During the afternoon and early evening, British infantry are astonished to see many Christmas trees with candles and paper lanterns, on enemy parapets. There is much singing of carols, hymns and popular songs, and a gradual exchange of communication and even meetings in some areas. Many of these meetings are to arrange collection of bodies. In other places, firing continues. Battalion officers are uncertain how to react; in general they maintain precautions. The night brings a clear, still air with a hard frost.


25 December 1914, Christmas Day

Burial
Men of 20th Brigade bury their dead of the attack of 18 December, alongside German soldiers engaged in the same activity. Christmas Day, 1914.
Units behind the lines attend church services and have in most cases arranged Christmas dinners which are taken in barns and shattered buildings. In the front lines, the fraternisation of Christmas Eve is continued throughout the day; not all units know about it, and it is not universal but is widespread over at least half of the British front. Many bodies that have been lying out in no man's land are buried, some in joint burials. Many men record the strange and wonderful events; may men exchange tokens or addresses with German soldiers, many of whom speak English. 81 British soldiers die on this day; a few die in areas that are otherwise peaceful and with fraternisation going on, victims of alert snipers. In other areas, there is considerable activity: 2nd Grenadier Guards suffer losses in a day of heavy fighting. As night fell, things grew quiet as men fell back to their trenches to take whatever Christmas meal that had been provided for them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Silas
Date: 04 Dec 10 - 12:51 PM

So it did happen then. So glad we could agree on something at last.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Richie Black (misused acct, bad email)
Date: 04 Dec 10 - 12:54 PM

No, there was no widespread truce.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,TIA
Date: 04 Dec 10 - 01:03 PM

See also the song "I'm Dreaming of Home" from the film Joyeaux Noel.
Both are great.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Silas
Date: 04 Dec 10 - 01:05 PM

Ahhh.....

I see the word 'widespread' has crept into the conversation. Interesting.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Richie Black (misused acct, bad email)
Date: 04 Dec 10 - 01:45 PM

There was no official truce, yes soldiers were involved in unofficial cessations of fighting along parts of the Western Front, but there was no truce. In fact you may be surprised at the causality list for christmas day 1914 on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, along the Western Front.

The fraternisation was not, however, without its risks; many soldiers were shot by opposing forces.In each of the following years of the war, artillery bombardments were ordered to start on Christmas Eve to ensure that there were no further lulls in the combat.

The incidents recalled by romantics in irrevocably mythologized songs and film were in fact nothing more than a 'blip'.

Romantics assert that the Truce was an effort by normal men to bring about an end to the slaughter. Well the causality lists for 1914 - 18 will answer that for you.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Silas
Date: 04 Dec 10 - 02:52 PM

No one has even remotely suggested that there was an official Christmas truce, the very idea is laughable.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Richie Black (misused acct, bad email)
Date: 04 Dec 10 - 03:10 PM

Es gab keinen Weihnachtswaffenstillstand oder Waffenruhe Silas.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Silas
Date: 04 Dec 10 - 03:39 PM

Sie haben bereits erklärt, dass dort war.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 04 Dec 10 - 05:54 PM

Here is a piece about the death, in 2001, of the last survivor of a similar truce that happened in 1915.

"Silent Night, barely 100 yards away, encouraged the British to respond with Good King Wenceslas. The following day, there was an impromptu kick-about with a football.

This seasonal fraternisation apparently went on for about half an hour, until brought to an abrupt end by a furious British officer, who ordered his men back to the trenches, telling them. in no uncertain terms, the brutal truth of their situation. namely that they were there "to kill the Hun, not make friends with him".


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Beer
Date: 05 Feb 11 - 08:57 AM

Speaking about a documented event, I just finished reading an old book I came across titled "The Great War as I Saw It, by Canon Frederick George Scott, C.M.G., D.S.O." Late Senior Chaplain , First Canadian Division, C.E.F." Copyright, Canada, 1922.

Here are a few excerpt from Chapter 9 titled "Our First Christmas in France".

Taking my bag with communion vessels and as many hymn books as I could carry , I was motored over on Christmas Eve to the 3rd Brigade headquarters at Petit Moncque Farm. Further up the line there was a barn known as St. Quentin's Farm, which for some reason or other, although it was in sight of the enemy, had not been demolished. I was determined therefore to have a service of Holy Communion at midnight (this they did and sang Christmas songs as well.).
The next morning (being Christmas) the rains had let up and it was a beautiful sunny day. The men were in high spirits and shaking hands with the words "Merry Christmas".

The Colonel had given the orders to the men not to fire on the enemy that day unless they fired on us. The Germans had evidently come to the same resolution. Early in the morning some of them had come over to our wire and left two bottles of beer behind as a peace offering. I actually got out into "No Mans land" and wandered down it. Many Christmas parcels had arrived and the men were making merry with their friends ( and so on.).
Not long after midnight , once again the pounding of the old war was resumed, and as I went to bed in the dugout that night, I felt from what a sublime height the world had dropped. We had two more war Christmases in France, but I always look back upon that first one as something unique in its beauty and simplicity.

When I stood on the Parapet that day looking at the Germans in their trenches, and thought how two great nations were held back for a time in their fierce struggle for supremacy, by their devotion to a little Child born in a stable in Bethlehem two thousand years before, I felt that there was still promise of a regenerated world. The Angels had not sung in vain their wonderful hymn "Glory to God in the Highest and on Earth Peace, Good Will towards men".

Christmas has passed but I couldn't help reviving this thread when I read this by a man of the cloth and published in 1922.
Adrien


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 05 Apr 11 - 07:41 AM

famous WW1 cartoonist Bruce Bairnsfather was present at the 1914 "christmas truce" His most famous cartoon 'Well, if you knows a better 'ole, go to it',

Bruce Bairnsfather and Old Bill scroll down to The Christmas Truce of 1914 for photo & drawing -

"A complete Boche figure suddenly appeared on the parapet and looked about. This complaint became infectious. It didn't take 'Our Bert' long to be up on the skyline. This was a signal for more Boche anatomy to be disclosed, and this was replied to by all our Alfs and Bills, until, in less time than it takes to tell, half a dozen or so of each of the belligerents were outside the trenches, and were advancing towards each other in no-man's land.

So writes Bruce Bairnsfather about the Christmas Truce of 1914. This event was an outbreak of spontaneous fraternization between troops almost entirely concentrated in the British sector on the south edge of the Ypres Salient. Contact was in varying degrees from exchanging smokes, chatting or playing football in No-Mans-Land, to sharing meals and dinner gossip in the opponents trenches. It occurred less frequently where one or both of the opposing formations were elite or hard-edged types. From its occurrence, the Christmas Truce has been looked upon as a symbol of a humanity not yet submerged by the mechanical forces of industrial-age warfare. With its ability to inspire and hold the imagination of later generations, the Legend of the Christmas Truce might be looked upon as a rare positive outcome of the Great War.

Those present, however, like Bairnsfather, premier cartoonist of the First World War and creator of "Old Bill" , were decidedly less sentimental about it. His account above of the unauthorized truce is widely quoted, but no one ever adds what he wrote a few paragraphs later:

"There was not an atom of hate that day and yet, on our side, not for a moment was the will to war and the will to beat them relaxed It was just like the interval between rounds in a friendly boxing match.' [Author's italics.]

I bought a copy of one of his WW1 booklets on the weekend & went searching for more info on his life & found this.

sandra


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Krites
Date: 28 Dec 13 - 11:45 AM

Saw the film "Joyeux Noel" recently, late at night, British television (not, I think, BBC). Degree of artifice, of course; truce involving German, French, and Scottish ("but we're no English, we're Scottish"), and many excellent humanitarian, religious, and political points conveyed smoothly and convincingly, as part of narrative. Joyeux Annee


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 28 Dec 13 - 12:30 PM

"Well the causality lists for 1914 - 18 will answer that for you."
Over which "normal men" had no control whatever (unless they followed the Russian example and pissed of home.
Dissenton and disobedience were serious crimes and carried extreme penalties
Jim Carroll

"When acting as a sentinel on active service sleeping at his post -        Death
By discharging firearms negligently occasioning false alarms in camp         - Cashiering or imprisonment
Causing a mutiny in the forces, or endeavouring to persuade persons in HM forces to join in a mutiny - Death
Striking his superior officer - Death
Offering violence or using threatening language to his superior officer - Penal servitude
Disobeying in such a manner as to show a wilful defiance of authority, a lawful command given personally by his superior officer - Death
Disobeying a lawful command given by his superior officer - Penal servitude
When concerned in a quarrel, refusing to obey an officer who ordered him into arrest        - Cashiering
Striking a person in whose custody he was placed - Cashiering or imprisonment
Deserting HM service, or attempting to desert - Death"


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 29 Dec 13 - 09:22 AM

My old dad (whose father fought in the Great War) would bang on about the fraternisation in the trenches. He was disgusted at the very idea, and used to say one should make up one's mind - are we at war with these people or not? If so, one can hardly treat them as mates for a few hours, Christmas or not. Every individual combatant has a family and a mum who loves him. But collectively they are a killing machine. Kill or be killed.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 29 Dec 13 - 11:43 AM

Wars are not instigated by people - they are instigated by politicians and businessmen (who tend not to risk their lives by fighting) - the people who fight them and are slaughtered don't get a vote as to who "their enemy" is (or any other choice in the matter).
It would be idealistic to think that things will ever be different, but I find it heartwarming to remember that, for a few hours, han beings recognised others as fellow-human beings and not an "enemy" somebody had invented for the rest of us to die for.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 29 Dec 13 - 01:54 PM

Not relevant to Britain in 1914.
They were faced with aggressive, invading German armies rampaging across Europe towards the English Channel, massacring civilians and children as they went.

No-one chose that implacable enemy.
They just had to deal with it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 29 Dec 13 - 02:07 PM

Remember where the German armies were at Xmas 1914.
Where would they have been had they not been stopped at huge cost and sacrifice by the Allied forces?

It was nice that they stopped trying to push deeper into France and Belgium on Xmas day, and nice that the allies could stop resisting them.
It would have been nicer had they returned to their own borders.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 29 Dec 13 - 04:27 PM

I agree, Keith. They were not 'fellow human beings' but deadly, encroaching enemies. War is always horrific, but our forces had to stop the Germans or they'd have invaded Britain too. I tend to think my old dad (and his dad, who was there) were right, you just cannot 'fraternise' with the enemy.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Musket
Date: 29 Dec 13 - 05:01 PM

Any evidence of German army murdering children as they went Keith? Any evidence they were told anything different to our army ?

Do you think in terms of fraternising with the enemy, that German officers and British officers dealt with Xmas 1914 any differently? For any different reason?

As people are people, how can it be that German soldiers appear to be under the influence of propaganda whilst our soldiers appear to just have raw facts?

Tell you what, the idea that you need truth in The UK and lies if you are German on order to carry out the same job is about as stupid as it gets. Yes, their wish for empire was a Kaiser induced stupidity. Their wish to mimic the British was tragic.

Pity we had an empire to defend when you think about it. Soldiers had been used to create carnage in the empire. We put Boers in concentration camps. Perhaps telling our soldiers the truth wasn't quite as clear cut as you and other apologists make out after all...


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 29 Dec 13 - 05:20 PM

Yes Musket.
Over 6000 civilians including children were deliberately murdered.
It is well documented, and again you demonstrate your profound ignorance of basic facts.
Had they not committed the massacres they would still be aggressive invaders who had to be stopped.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Musket
Date: 30 Dec 13 - 01:28 AM

"If it happened, I am sure I would have heard of it."

Keith A Hole of Hertford



You don't perchance have a list of all the names of the 6000 civilians do you? Is this part of what the UK soldiers were told at the time or what we have been told subsequently ? Who verified the atrocities? More importantly, who made the accusations? Any word about what German people were told about our soldiers' behaviour?

This was about German soldiers with a similar lifestyle and outlook to our own. Far too easy to compare to the Nazis, who not only came later, but were a rather international axis.

Must be great to read so much on a subject. I suggest enlarging your library.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 30 Dec 13 - 02:17 AM

Muppet, I could quote historians, but you don't believe them.
You could make a pilgrimage to the memorials and mass graves in Belgium.
Here is a Wiki piece that Jim Carrol posted.
Wiki.
The Rape of Belgium is the usual historical term regarding the treatment of civilians during the 1914-18 German invasion and occupation of Belgium. The term initially had a propaganda use but recent historiography confirms its reality.[1] One modern author uses it more narrowly to describe a series of German war crimes in the opening months of the War (4 August through September 1914).[2]
The neutrality of Belgium had been guaranteed by the Treaty of London (1839), which had been signed by Prussia. However the German Schlieffen Plan required that German armed forces violate Belgium's neutrality in order to outflank the French Army, concentrated in eastern France. The German Chancellor Theobald von Bethmann Hollweg dismissed the treaty of 1839 as a "scrap of paper".[3] Throughout the beginning of the war the German army engaged in numerous atrocities against the civilian population of Belgium, and destruction of civilian property; 6,000 Belgians were killed, 25,000 homes and other buildings in 837 communities destroyed. 1,500,000 Belgians (20% of the entire population) fled from the invading German army.[4]:13


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 30 Dec 13 - 02:55 AM

"Over 6000 civilians including children were deliberately murdered."
You've brought your nutty jingoistic theories to this thread .
The mass-murder of children, defiling of nuns, the "rape of poor little Belgium" were exaggerations of genuine but grossly overstated accounts of events that were taking place at the beginning of WW1 - covered in full and totally ignored or denied by you previously.
Yes - some children were killed, yes, there were some accounts of women being raped - historically shown as having been deliberately exaggerated to persuade Britons - from schoolboys to young men in their bloom of youth, to sacrifice their lives for the cause of Empire.
The "poor little" Belgian regime (over whom you and past jingoists (deservedly ancient history now) claim were one of the main reasons for the war) were responsible for the deliberate murder of ten million colonial Africans in the Belgian Congo only a handful of years prior to the outbreak of war; the world didn't lift a finger to intervene - proven documented fact.
Eighteen months after the war began the lies and exaggerations were accepted by Britons as just that, the recruiting campaign was admitted to have totally failed, and stringently enforced enlistment was introduced.
All this has been fully documented, presented with evidence on the other sad-sad thread, and only rejected by one fanatic who has never read a book on the War and who has hidden behind half-digested snippets from a historical journalist seeking to achieve a career boost in the forthcoming centenary 'celebrations'.
World War One has been long regarded as the deliberate and cynical slaughter of the world's youth by Empires seeking to gain and maintain dominance for their markets
British-French-German-Belgian-American-Russian... working people were sentenced to die in the mud of Europe for political and economic masters who stayed at home in comfort and egged them on with their white feathers and their promises of a short war, good pay and conditions, honour and glory - and a "War To End All Wars.
Voluntary recruitment ceased in 1916, a year later the Russian workers and peasants walked away from the front and kicked out the monarchy that sent them there.
At the end of the War German workers attempted to do the same - and failed - the German warmongers were left in charge, re-armed and the whole bloody mess was allowed to start up all over again.
The history books are full of this stuff - not just the tiny handful of newbies with their eyes on the main chance - this is the history that has been taught in schools since the fall of the British Empire.
Please don't allow this thread to be taken over by one single flag-waving fanatic who has described the recorded experiences of W.W.1. soldiers as "lies" "revisionism" and "romanticism".
Some time next year the BBC is embarking on a series of programmes planned to last for several years, outlining the history of WW1 from all angles.
It will be interesting to see the part a dissenting historical journalist will play in the planning of those programmes.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 30 Dec 13 - 03:38 AM

Are you disputing that "Over 6000 civilians including children were deliberately murdered." ?

It is easily verified from numerous sources.
I challenge and defy you to find one single authoritative source that disputes it.
Be aware that atrocities were committed in France also.

I too am looking forward to the coverage of WW1 by BBC and others.
I am afraid that you are going to hate it Jim.
You already have seen many extracts from the BBC History site that I have posted.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 30 Dec 13 - 04:25 AM

I am denying nothing whatever - I am saying what I have said throughout - that the War had nothing to do with "Gallant Little Belgium" or the greatly exaggerated atrocities that undoubtedly occurred - it was an Imperial war - a war for political and economic dominance and was always referred to as such.
That fact eventually led to the fall of the system of empires
You have decided which authorities are have rejected those which don't support your Colonel Blimpism - call them liars and revisionists - even those who served in the war and wrote about it extremely movingly - Graves, Sassoon... and those "lying" soldiers who returned traumatised and disgusted at what they had been tricked into - all "liars".
If humanitarianism had featured in any way in the thinking of the dinosaurs who ran the world in those days the powers that be would have intervened to stop the systematic slaughter of ten million Congolese by "Gallant Little Belgium" - they were fully aware of the events taking place in the Congo and never raised a murmur of protest - 10,000,000 human beings systematically murdered and not a single statement of protest by Britain, the US, France..... why - you have not once responded to these crimes?
Come off it Keith - the Empire is dead and its crimes and atrocities are now fully acknowledged except by those of you who yearn for the "days of greatness".
You've had legitimate evidence in volumes - you have rejected it all because it doesn't fit with the pathetic little scoops of the opinions of a military journalist - sop do not claim that nobody has given you anything in return for you historically out-dated rantings,
For you - the war is over Tommy
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Herr Musket
Date: 30 Dec 13 - 04:40 AM

Dateline Munich. 2013.

Wolfgang! Do you have any evidence that the tommies tied children to the mouths of cannons?


zzzzzzzzzz


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 30 Dec 13 - 04:40 AM

Over 6000 civilians including children were deliberately murdered in Belgium, and more in France.
That is a fact and people were influenced by it, but Britain went to war because we had a treaty to defend Belgium, and Belgium and France were invaded, and our own security threatened.

I have not rejected any historians. No dissenting ones have emerged.
I have read Graves and Sassoon and Owen.
Of course they are not liars, but neither were they typical or representative.

You are now rehashing the current WW1 thread arguments on this thread.
Why?
This one is about the Xmas truce.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Silas
Date: 30 Dec 13 - 05:03 AM

I'm with Jim on his one - he is spot on.

I was researching the death of my great uncle who died in 1917 at Perrone. He and and many of his comrades were killed whilst sleeping in a hut by a german shell. I was astonished and quite moved to discover that the german soldiers hadthe decency to actually bury the british dead rather than just leave them to rot.

The ordinary soldier, german or ally was just a soldier. Not an animal or monster.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Musket
Date: 30 Dec 13 - 05:13 AM

Dateline Her Majesty's Britannic England.

This just in.

Those who were there are not representative or typical.

The ex editor of a British tabloid who wasn't born till many years after the armistice apparently is.

This is not spilling over from the armistice thread. The Xmas truce was an example of why you simply cannot say British Good Soldier, German Bad Soldier. Atrocities were carried out by both sides, in the names of respective armies. Earl Haig wasn't called the butcher of the Somme because he ensured the soldiers got roast beef on a Sunday...


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 30 Dec 13 - 05:20 AM

All sides buried enemy dead with respect.
Soldiers are just ordinary people in uniform.
German soldiers could not refuse to obey their orders.
Who called Haig "butcher" and who still does?
What has any of this to do with the Xmas truce?


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Musket
Date: 30 Dec 13 - 07:27 AM

Historians still call him the butcher of the Somme.

The BBC does.

I hear that there are people living in Hertford who do.

I am also aware that he instructed snipers in subsequent years to be deployed in areas they weren't normally in, to prevent Germans from calling Xmas truces and ordered officers to treat attempts by our lads to truce as insubordination.

Hence the relevance to this thread.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 30 Dec 13 - 07:54 AM

Whether the Germans were models of compassion or hideous monsters, they were nevertheless marching on towards our shores in attack mode and had to be stopped. Fraternising with them was bad for morale and dangerous for security. That's why military commanders throughout the ages have wisely forbidden it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Christmas Truce (1914)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 30 Dec 13 - 08:06 AM

Historians still call him the butcher of the Somme.
Which?
Any living ones?

The BBC does.

Really?
Not on its History site. It specifically says the jibe is not justified.
I am guessing that you will not be able to produce any example, so why the claim?.


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