Christmas Truce Veteran
November 21, 2005 9:00 AM   Subscribe

You know if you had put some good links with that it would have been a lot more than a newsfilter post.
posted by furtive at 9:22 AM on November 21, 2005

Seriously. This post is an exercise in wasted potential. What's the Christmas Truce? Who else lived through it? What did this man do between the war and dying?
posted by Jairus at 9:33 AM on November 21, 2005

"The truce often ended just as it had begun, by mutual agreement. Captain C. I. Stockwell, of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers recalled how, after a truly "Silent Night," he fired three shots into the air at 8.30 a.m. on December 26th and then climbed onto his parapet. The officer who had given him the beer the previous day also appeared on the German parapet. They bowed, saluted and climbed back into their trenches. A few moments afterwards, Stockwell heard the German fire two shots into the air and, as he said, " The War was on again."

Accounts from both sides, including the Christmas Day football match, which apparently the Germans won 3-2.
posted by nthdegx at 9:41 AM on November 21, 2005

So, does this mean the war is back on?
posted by Plutor at 9:54 AM on November 21, 2005


keep you head down.
posted by Busithoth at 9:58 AM on November 21, 2005


that'd be your...
posted by Busithoth at 9:58 AM on November 21, 2005

(Other than that, how did you like the post?)

I considered putting in links, but as the article gives the essentials and as Mr Anderson deserves some undivided attention, I went for concision instead.

I also counted on the likes of the worthy nthdgex and skallas (tips hat) to fill in spaces for those who don't know the history.
posted by IndigoJones at 10:15 AM on November 21, 2005

posted by Heywood Mogroot at 10:21 AM on November 21, 2005

Aye. No problems with the one link post as far as I'm concerned. Can prevent discussion veering off on some obscure factette buried within one of the lesser links. And:

posted by nthdegx at 11:24 AM on November 21, 2005

I guess it's now safe to forget the lessons of WWI... as if we hadn't already forgotten the lessons of several more recent wars...

posted by wendell at 11:46 AM on November 21, 2005

and I believe there's a movie about this forthcoming, too
posted by muckster at 12:15 PM on November 21, 2005

Thinking about the Christmas truce makes me happy and sad and makes my head hurt. What seems to be not mentioned nearly enough is that for the duration of the truce the soldiers involved had actually reached a moment of sanity in the midst of a consensus reality which was objectively insane. Eventually they abandoned that moment and gave in to the suicidal/homicidal/insane consensus. What's truly depressing is that it's only the moment of sanity that is considered remarkable - not the reversion to the status quo.

I wonder - in what ways would the world need to be different for the soldiers to have said "we're not going to go back to killing each other now."?
posted by tdismukes at 12:35 PM on November 21, 2005 [1 favorite]

Joyeux Noel (Merry Christmas)
posted by muckster at 1:06 PM on November 21, 2005

I want to say the movie was "A Midnight Clear" or something like that, but IMDB comes up with nothing that matches my recollection. There was a great movie about this that I saw on video about 8 years ago.
posted by TTNoelle at 2:58 PM on November 21, 2005

tdismukes, see Milgram
posted by CunningLinguist at 3:38 PM on November 21, 2005

CunningLinguist, I'm quite familiar with Milgram's work. While the underlying principle is likely the same, I see a difference in how people react to the events. When Milgram published his work, it surprised many that the subjects would go along with authority to such an extent. In the Christmas truce, most are surprised that the soldiers involved didn't go along with authority - at least for a short time. The thing is, by any objective measure WWI was more batshit insane than the situation the Milgram subjects found themselves in. Nevertheless, folks who learn of the Milgram experiment and say "how could they go along with that" typically don't ask the same thing about the soldiers in WWI.
posted by tdismukes at 3:52 PM on November 21, 2005

It's Robert Axelrod you are thinking of.
posted by warbaby at 10:02 PM on November 22, 2005

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