The sign read, “You no fight, we no fight.” It was believed to be one of the most miraculous events ever to happen during wartime.
When: The week leading up to Christmas Day of 1914.
What: Several unofficial ceasefires.
Where: Along the Western Front of WWI.
Why: Because it was Christmas!
It has been called the Christmas Truce or coined the nickname “Silent Night.” What seems to have started by a few German soldiers trying to have a few hours of peace to celebrate Christmas led to several ceasefires along the Western Front. As tradition teaches, several Christmas trees popped up along the trenches. Signs were made by the German soldiers asking for a temporary truce. Christmas carols were being sung.
Eventually some of the German soldiers left their trenches and were captured by their British counterparts. British Army Captain Hulse wrote that one of the German soldiers “started off by saying that he thought it only right to come over and wish us a happy Christmas, and trusted us implicitly to keep the truce.” More and more British, French, and German soldiers met in the “no-man's land” between trenches to sing carols, trade prisoners, sweets and cigarettes. It was said that even a soccer game broke out. Some soldiers came out of the trenches just to retrieve the dead bodies in between opposing trenches.
The accounts of this Christmas Truce vary in details. For example, there are those who have stated that nearly half of the British soldiers along the Front observed the truce while others believed it to be a much smaller amount. Also, the actual dates and lengths of the truce have been debated over the last century. But no matter how exactly this event went down that first Christmas of WWI, it was a miracle. And the miracle happened when men, who were trained to flex as much muscle possible, became vulnerable to the point of the risk of death. For a short time, reconciliation was made when these brave men gave up their strength and let love win.