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 December 25, 1914

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PostSubject: December 25, 1914   Tue Dec 18, 2012 12:00 pm

"On Christmas morning we stuck up a board with 'A Merry Christmas' on it. The enemy had stuck up a similar one. Platoons would sometimes go out for twenty-four hours' rest -- it was a day at least out of the trench and relieved the monotony a bit -- and my platoon had gone out in this way the night before, but a few of us stayed behind to see what would happen. Two of our men then threw their equipment off and jumped on the parapet with their hands above their heads. Two of the Germans done the same and commenced to walk up the river bank, our two men going to meet them. They met and shook hands and then we all got out of the trench.

"Buffalo Bill [the Company Commander] rushed into the trench and endeavoured to prevent it, but he was too late: the whole of the Company were now out, and so were the Germans. He had to accept the situation, so soon he and the other company officers climbed out too. We and the Germans met in the middle of no-man's-land. Their officers was also now out. Our officers exchanged greetings with them. One of the German officers said that he wished he had a camera to take a snapshot, but they were not allowed to carry cameras. Neither were our officers.

"We mucked in all day with one another. They were Saxons and some of them could speak English. By the look of them their trenches were in as bad a state as our own. One of their men, speaking in English, mentioned that he had worked in Brighton for some years and that he was fed up to the neck with this damned war and would be glad when it was all over. We told him that he wasn't the only one that was fed up with it. We did not allow them in our trench and they did not allow us in theirs.

"The German Company-Commander asked Buffalo Bill if he would accept a couple of barrels of beer and assured him that they would not make his men drunk. They had plenty of it in the brewery. He accepted the offer with thanks and a couple of their men rolled the barrels over and we took them into our trench. The German officer sent one of his men back to the trench, who appeared shortly after carrying a tray with bottles and glasses on it. Officers of both sides clinked glasses and drunk one another's health. Buffalo Bill had presented them with a plum pudding just before. The officers came to an understanding that the unofficial truce would end at midnight. At dusk we went back to our respective trenches."

http://warisacrime.org/content/what-soldiers-did-christmas-98-years-ago

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Mozjo33

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PostSubject: Re: December 25, 1914   Tue Dec 18, 2012 12:21 pm

Fantastic. Thanks Yak.

If common sense would be used like that today things may be better all the way around!
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SkagitSmoke



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PostSubject: Re: December 25, 1914   Tue Dec 18, 2012 12:50 pm

I remember reading about this before. Amazing story. In 7th grade I had to give a 10 minute speech about a holiday. Everyone was choosing Christmas in some other country but by the time my name was drawn, there wasn't much left. I ended up choosing Christmas during the Civil War which actually morphed into Christmas in wartime. It actually was pretty interesting to learn about. My speech, however, was terrible. I think it was my first all-nighter to prepare, somethings never change!
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Kyle Weiss

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PostSubject: Re: December 25, 1914   Tue Dec 18, 2012 4:48 pm

That was my first time reading that story. That's cool stuff right there. How human we can be, taking the good with the bad...

...fascinating. Smile

Cool
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Steveaux

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PostSubject: Re: December 25, 1914   Tue Dec 18, 2012 4:50 pm

The true spirit of the season.

Thanks, Yak.
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puros_bran
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PostSubject: Re: December 25, 1914   Tue Dec 18, 2012 4:54 pm

Didn't they play soccer? Or was that a seperate occurrence?

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SkagitSmoke



Age : 37
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PostSubject: Re: December 25, 1914   Tue Dec 18, 2012 5:22 pm

puros_bran wrote:
Didn't they play soccer? Or was that a seperate occurrence?

Separate occurrance
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Harlock999

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PostSubject: Re: December 25, 1914   Tue Dec 18, 2012 11:30 pm

puros_bran wrote:
Didn't they play soccer? Or was that a seperate occurrence?

They played football, and the Jerries beat the Brits, as usual... Cool
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0424205/
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PostSubject: Re: December 25, 1914   Tue Dec 18, 2012 11:34 pm

That's what it was like when Civilisation still existed.

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leftover421

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PostSubject: Re: December 25, 1914   Tue Dec 18, 2012 11:46 pm

Thank you Yak!
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gravel

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PostSubject: Re: December 25, 1914   Tue Dec 18, 2012 11:50 pm

This wasn't an annual occurance. As the war continued, the fraternizing stopped.
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PostSubject: Re: December 25, 1914   Wed Dec 19, 2012 12:43 am

The high command stopped them after the first time.

Can't have soldiers who regard "the enemy" as fellow human beings now, can you ?

Hermann Goering wrote:
Why of course the people don't want war. Why should some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally, the common people don't want war: neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But after all it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship.

Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger.


Maj. Gen. Smedley Butler, USMC (Retired) wrote:
War is a racket. It always has been.

It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.

A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small "inside" group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes.

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