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  #1  
Old 27 December 2007, 07:30 PM
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Icon105 A truce for Christmas

Britons and Germans put down their guns in December 1914.

http://www.hfxnews.ca/index.cfm?sid=92511&sc=93
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  #2  
Old 27 December 2007, 07:50 PM
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Probably my favorite event in the history of warfare (which doesn't set a high bar, but still).
I thought the spirit of it was captured well in John McCutcheon's Christmas in the Trenches, despite a few anachronisms. There have also been several films about it, of course; we very much enjoyed Joyeux Noel.
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  #3  
Old 27 December 2007, 07:52 PM
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The Atlanta Radio Theatre also has a show about it--we performed it twice this year. My son directed, and it moved the audience to tears.
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Old 28 December 2007, 12:14 AM
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The Atlanta Radio Theatre also has a show about it--we performed it twice this year. My son directed, and it moved the audience to tears.
Any way of hearing a recording of that? For those of us far-flung from Atlanta, that is?
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  #5  
Old 28 December 2007, 12:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryan With a 'Y' View Post
Probably my favorite event in the history of warfare (which doesn't set a high bar, but still).
I thought the spirit of it was captured well in John McCutcheon's Christmas in the Trenches, despite a few anachronisms. There have also been several films about it, of course; we very much enjoyed Joyeux Noel.
Joyeux Noel is of my favorite movies.
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  #6  
Old 28 December 2007, 12:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryan With a 'Y' View Post
I thought the spirit of it was captured well in John McCutcheon's Christmas in the Trenches, despite a few anachronisms.

Still my second favorite Christmas song.

Pogue
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  #7  
Old 28 December 2007, 07:47 AM
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It is also mentioned by the Tom Robinson song "Truce"
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  #8  
Old 28 December 2007, 11:51 AM
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Quote:
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Britons and Germans put down their guns in December 1914.
It would have been even better had they not picked them up again.
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  #9  
Old 28 December 2007, 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Bryan With a 'Y' View Post
Any way of hearing a recording of that? For those of us far-flung from Atlanta, that is?
There will be. We're going into the studio in January to lay down the voice tracks for the CD. I'll keep you posted!
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  #10  
Old 29 December 2007, 11:47 AM
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It would have been even better had they not picked them up again.
AIUI, many of them didn't want to pick them up again. Unfortunately that is called "cowardice" and after a court martial you get shot at dawn (and sometimes you don't even get the court martial, just summary justice).
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  #11  
Old 29 December 2007, 04:52 PM
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AIUI, many of them didn't want to pick them up again. Unfortunately that is called "cowardice" and after a court martial you get shot at dawn (and sometimes you don't even get the court martial, just summary justice).
I don't think they would have shot every soldier on both sides.
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  #12  
Old 30 December 2007, 03:18 AM
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Quote:
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It would have been even better had they not picked them up again.
I presume your ancestors weren't Belgian civilians at the time.
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  #13  
Old 30 December 2007, 04:04 AM
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I have a memory of a Paul McCartney video from the mid '80s depicting this informal truce.

Does anyone else remember the video, or am I misremembering something?
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  #14  
Old 30 December 2007, 06:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tarquin Farquart View Post
I don't think they would have shot every soldier on both sides.
Likely not, since only a small fraction of the total troops on each side were involved in the Christmas truce activities.

- snopes
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  #15  
Old 30 December 2007, 08:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UEL View Post
I have a memory of a Paul McCartney video from the mid '80s depicting this informal truce.

Does anyone else remember the video, or am I misremembering something?
Unfortunately you remember it correctly. IMHO one of his worst songs.

On their 'We Wish You a Merry Christmas' CD the 'Houghton Weavers' (a folk group from Lancashire) perform a poem called 'Christmas 1914'. It seems to be an accurate telling, in humorous tones, of the truce. In the verse about the football match they say that a Manchester United player scored four goals (which may not be true). They also mention the fact that the generals on both sides put an end to the frivolities.

'Blackadder Goes Forth' mentions the truce as well - with Edmund complaining bitterly that he was never offside.

In the brilliant BBC series 'The Great War' (1964) it is mentioned that the soldiers tried to have another truce in 1915, but the generals of both sides were ready and stopped anything happening.
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  #16  
Old 30 December 2007, 09:01 PM
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I've heard from a friend that Garth Brooks has a song called "Belleau Wood" about the truce as well.

I got to see the movie, Joyeux Noel, followed by a q-&-a session with the director. It was fascinating, and he claims that many of the more outrageous elements in the film were actually true, or closely based on true events from different areas in which the truce took place.

He told us about a letter he received from a woman who said she would not exist except for that truce. Two soldiers, one French and one German, exchanged addresses. After the war, the French soldier went looking for his friend, only to find that he hadn't survived the war. But he did meet the German soldier's sister, and eventually married her. This couple were one pair of the letter-writer's grandparents -- so she considers herself a child born of that truce.

I've also heard John McCutcheon speak very movingly of his encounter with four former German soldiers who, for years after their return from the war, couldn't convince anyone that their experience was true. Apparently there were official denials for a long time, like most of these soldiers' lifetimes, that the truce ever occurred at all -- and it wasn't until John performed his song at a music festival in Denmark that these four old men were able to persuade their few surviving contemporaries that they hadn't all been lying for decades about their experience.

Dog ("The ones who call the shots won't be among the dead and lame") Friendly
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  #17  
Old 31 December 2007, 07:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew of Ware View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by UEL View Post
I have a memory of a Paul McCartney video from the mid '80s depicting this informal truce.

Does anyone else remember the video, or am I misremembering something?
Unfortunately you remember it correctly. IMHO one of his worst songs.
You are killing me. I barely remember the song, you know it's a bad one, but you don't tell me the name.

Please, Andrew. For my sanity. What's the song
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  #18  
Old 01 January 2008, 02:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UEL View Post
You are killing me. I barely remember the song, you know it's a bad one, but you don't tell me the name.

Please, Andrew. For my sanity. What's the song


It's Pipes of Peace, I believe.
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  #19  
Old 01 January 2008, 03:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew of Ware View Post
Unfortunately you remember it correctly. IMHO one of his worst songs.
Which is certainly saying something. The one thing I'll forever hate Heather Mills-McCartney for is actually making me feel sorry for that waste of a space in the Beatles line up.
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