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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.
Dull.....couldn't fiinish... This story has always interested me.Published 9 days ago by people person
I was so excited to read this book and it didn't disappoint! It has history and heart. While it doesn't paint an entirely rosy picture, I appreciate that Weitraub doesn't sugarcoat... Read morePublished 29 days ago by Melissa Alice
This is THE story of the 1914 Chrismas truce. Thoroughly documented, very readable. A must read for anyone who wants to know more about a most unique event in the history of war... Read morePublished 1 month ago by David Perasso
Can be a slog from time to time but inspirational in the over-all story content.Published 1 month ago by Randal Evans
Very much a documentary of the Christmas truce. It was interesting but none of the events were embellished but simply documented. Read morePublished 1 month ago by L. Nolan
Did not read well - skipped around. Was a dark story of what a war is about.Published 1 month ago by me
Good story at the right time. I liked the weaving of the letters and the official reports with the politics.Published 2 months ago by jjellen