12 November 2009

Historical vignette 4: the deadly armistice

Veteran's Day marks the date of the armistice which ended World War I on 11 November 1918. The armistice did not take effect until 11:00 AM that day because Marshal Ferdinand Foch, the French commander-in-chief, wanted the war to end at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. Fighting continued up to 11:00 AM even though it had been known for six hours that the war was effectively over, and even though during the negotiations three days earlier (when all that was still in doubt was the terms of Germany's surrender) German chief negotiator Matthias Erzberger had begged Foch to stop the fighting immediately. Thousands of soldiers died for nothing because combat continued up to the artificial 11-11-11 stopping point.


Blogger Ranch Chimp said...

This was actually an interesting read for me,because I know not a thing about this.I am not going to comment on people's underlying motive's or intention's, because nothing much suprises me...and because I wrote a few piece's myself in posting's about the "war game's" and human pawn chess game's that go on. Alot of detail's here...and since I dont know about this...I sure as Hell cant comment on the validity of the story historically or otherwise, this is VERY detailed. But an interesting read.

Thank You .......

12 November, 2009 03:17  
Blogger Holte Ender said...

Marshall Foch suffered from drama and self importance and the 11-11-11 appealed to his ego.

12 November, 2009 05:39  
Blogger TomCat said...

Ordinary troops continue to be used as cannon fodder by generals and politicians. :-(

12 November, 2009 10:46  
Blogger mendip said...

I always recommend a quick study of the WWI to anyone about to join the military. The situation you describe is absolutely true, and merely one of dozens of such examples of how troops have been treated in the past, (and present, I agree with TomCat..). But WWI seems to really be the "perfect storm", in my opinion, particularly with the Triple Entente and Americans. To once again echo TomCat, the attitudes of the generals and politicians to their troops went beyond cavalier and veered into treason, (at least if one considers one's own military to be a matter of patriotic interest and concern). What's also interesting is the near cover-up of that history by the West, particularly of the reaction by the troops, (there were major mutinies in the French and British army that, before the Internet, one had to truly dig to find information on.

12 November, 2009 13:05  

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