The forgotten Christmas truce the British tried to suppress

New research has uncovered the most detailed account yet of the banned 1915 Christmas Truce where British and German soldiers defied official orders to make peace in No Man’s Land

As night descended over the Western Front on Christmas Eve, the guns fell silent and carols drifted across no man’s land. The Germans opened up first, singing hymns learnt in their native Rhineland and Bavaria, before the British responded, belting out Good King Wenceslas.

At first light on Christmas Day, the soldiers emerged unarmed from the trenches and met halfway across the muddy killing fields, shaking hands, exchanging buttons, sausage and tins of bully beef. There was even a raucous football match, 50-a-side. That night fairy lights and braziers were hauled over the parapets for the singing to continue.

  • Amazing that they could stop the killing for a few hours.

  • Norman_In_New_York

    In response, I cannot help but think of this song.

    From a distance, you look like my friend even though we are at war.
    From a distance, I cannot comprehend what all this fighting is for.
    From a distance, there is harmony and it echoes through the land.
    It’s the hope of hopes,
    It’s the love of loves,
    It is the song of every man.
    And God is watching us, God is watching us,
    God is watching us from a distance.

  • Exile1981

    If anyone tried that in a war on islam they would wnd up dead as the koran is very specificabout breaking truces

    • Alain

      Agreed for not at all the same. The Germans shared much the same culture and many of soldiers being sent to battle were not hard core believers in Nazi ideology. They were not the same as most of the German officers, so I can understand how this could have happened. With the Islamic enemy there is no shared humanity.

      • Clausewitz

        WW I. No Nazi’s, just duelling cousins.