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That informal truce began with small acts: here opposing Scottish and German troops would toss newspapers, ration tins, and friendly remarks across the lines; there ambulance parties, clearing the dead from the barbwire hell of no man's land, would stop to share cigarettes and handshakes. Soon it spread, so that by Christmas Eve the armies of France, England, and Germany were serenading each other with Christmas carols and sentimental ballads and denouncing the conflict with cries of "Á bas la guerre!" and "Nie wieder Krieg!" The truce was, writes Stanley Weintraub, a remarkable episode, and, though "dismissed in official histories as an aberration of no consequence," it was so compelling that many who observed it wrote in near-disbelief to their families and hometown newspapers to report the extraordinary event.
In the end, writes Weintraub, the truce ended with a few stray bullets that escalated into total war, and that would fill the air for just shy of four more Christmases to come; further, isolated attempts at informal peacemaking would fail. But what, Weintraub wonders at the close of this inspired study, would have happened if the soldiers on both sides had refused to take up arms again? His counterfactual scenarios are intriguing, and well worth pondering. -- Gregory McNamee --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Good story at the right time. I liked the weaving of the letters and the official reports with the politics.Published 9 days ago by jjellen
It gives you an amazing insight to the Christmas truce of 1914!
A wonderful read!!
The WWI Christmas truce is a historical phenomena that has sadly begun to fall from general knowledge. Read morePublished 14 days ago by Carpe Librum
My book club is reading the book in December so it is not possible for me to write a review.Published 2 months ago by Marilyn Myers
The "repetitiousness" of this book is what makes it, to me, so moving and powerful. As the author says on page 15, "A single 'Tannenbaum' on a parapet might be an... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Ancient Bookworm
I love history and this was a great book to tell about a not-so-well known part of WWI.Published 5 months ago by algleaf
Joyeux Noel. Then there was an opera shown on PBS that was based on the movie (see the closing credits)Published 6 months ago by EKO