The Christmas Truce of 1914

A post I did for HBU’s School of Humanities blog.

Reflection and Choice


This week marks the hundredth anniversary of the Christmas truce of the First World War.

In the summer of 1914, the German army advanced into French territory, but after initial success, the Germans found themselves being pushed back by the French and the British who had come to their aid. The Germans dug trenches to keep from getting pushed back farther, and the British and French dug their own trenches parallel to the German ones.

In December of 1914, the two sides were still sitting in their trenches, which in some places were less than a hundred yards apart.

Neither side wanted to fight on Christmas Day, so the guns went silent for a while. And in the silence, someone started singing “Silent Night.” “Silent Night” is pretty much the same song in both English and German, and the two sides together started singing hymns celebrating the birth of the…

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