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 Christmas story.

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PostSubject: Christmas story.   Sun Dec 25, 2011 12:15 am

Hi everyone and merry christmas. Smile

I googled this up, just for you guys. Wink

Guns fell silent on western front

The First World War was a horrifying conflict. Literally millions of young men were brutally killed or injured in the most horrendous fashion. December 1914, the war was in full swing as it had been for months, it could only be described as "hell on earth". However on Christmas Eve 1914, in the cold muddy trenches of the western front, the guns fell silent. German soldiers began to place candles on small trees and started to sing Silent Night. British soldiers not far away heard the singing and responded by singing also. Quite remarkably both sides began to shout Christmas greetings to each other. German troops informed the British troops that they did not intend to fight on Christmas Day. Many British troops paid little attention to this as it could be a trick, but it wasn't. The British could not believe it when early on Christmas morning, whilst they were at breakfast, a cry was raised that the Germans had left their trenches. Springing to arms, they could hardly believe their eyes when they looked over the parapet and saw a number of the enemy standing in the open in front of their trenches, all unarmed. Instead of aiming their rifles at the Germans the British soldiers lowered them, and began to get out of their trenches and crossed No Man's Land.

Both sets of soldiers met in the centre of No Man's Land and smiled at each other. They began to exchange whiskey, jam, cigars, chocolate and any other few luxuries they had. They also showed each other photographs of their families and told stories about home. Some played football together whilst others just came together and sang festive songs. For many it was a day to reflect and mourn the loss of friends who had died in combat. Amazingly Christmas dinners were also provided for the majority of men, several days rations used all at once. The truce also allowed British, German and French troops to bury their dead with more peace and respect than in the previous days of brutal conflict. It further allowed the soldiers to find many of their dead in No Man's Land, and give them a proper burial. Men who had literally tried to kill each other 24 hours earlier were now standing side by side, something that was to most unthinkable. Military leaders on both sides were totally opposed to such a truce. Generals and other "Brass Hats" wanted men to fight regardless, but the spirit of Christmas in the trenches was more powerful than the Generals on this occasion. Church Services were also a part of the day; 'O come all ye faithful' and 'While shepherds watched their flocks by night' were the hymns. It was a peaceful day and although very cold weather, there was a sense of warmth and good will in the trenches. Both sides would have liked the truce to continue for longer but realistically they knew it would not. Christmas Day 1914 was a Christmas these men would never forget.

The truce ended just as it began, with dignified silence. Early on Boxing day Captain C. I. Stockwell, of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers recalled how, after a truly "Silent Night," he fired three shots into the air at 8.30 a.m. and then climbed onto his parapet. An officer who had given him beer the previous day also appeared on the German parapet. They bowed, saluted and climbed back into their trenches. A few moments afterwards, Stockwell heard the German fire two shots into the air and said, "The war was on again". The Christmas Truce was, perhaps, a last example of open-handed chivalry before the horror of the next three years that changed the world forever.

Source: LINK

- Puolimieli_
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PostSubject: re   Sun Dec 25, 2011 1:54 am

lol ty nice story
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PostSubject: Re: Christmas story.   Fri Jan 06, 2012 7:03 am

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