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24 December

 
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Yvonne
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BerichtGeplaatst: 24 Dec 2005 8:43    Onderwerp: 24 December Reageer met quote

Die Nachrichten vom 24. Dezember

1914
Rückeroberung von Mlawa
Fortdauer der Kämpfe in den Karpathen und Galizien
Türkische Erfolge
Antwort des Reichskanzlers auf die französische Regierungs-Erklärung
Die französischen Verluste
England sperrt den Suezkanal
Vier englische Schiffe versenkt
Eine Rede des Papstes

1915
Die Franzosen auch von dem Nordhange des Hartmannsweilerkopfes vertrieben
Vergebliche russische Angriffsversuche an der beßarabischen Front

1916
Der Feind in den Nordwestzipfel der Dobrudscha gedrängt
Isaccea in der Dobrudscha genommen
Erfolgreicher Vorstoß der k. u. k. Zerstörer in der Otranto-Straße

1917
Der Col del Rosso erstürmt
Ein Dankerlaß des Kaisers an das Kriegsministerium
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BerichtGeplaatst: 24 Dec 2005 8:45    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

December 24

1918 American soldier John Douglas writes home from post-armistice France

On Christmas Eve, 1918, Major John N. Douglas writes to his wife and young daughter from Mayenne, France, telling them of the challenges still faced by the soldiers in his regiment more than a month after World War I officially ended.

According to Douglas, he and his fellows were the first American troops to arrive in the area around Mayenne, located in the Normandy region in northwestern France. The brutally wet and cold conditions they encountered there, combined with the scarcity of supplies, clearly disheartened Douglas.

“I arrived in Maron about noon on the 19th – and we waited there until…the 21st before the train came. It rained continuously – the mud was 2” to 6” deep – there was no place to sleep – no fires – no water to drink – and very little warm food…In France at this season…it gets dark very early – about 4:00 – and as there is practically no kerosene – and candles being very high – everybody goes to bed at dusk – in fact by 6:30 everybody in the small town is asleep – we turned in at 6:00 – It was miserable – wet – cold – no lights – no fires – Oh hell…”

The Normandy area Douglas writes of in this letter, ravished by the Great War, would later become the staging ground for another great clash of arms during World War II.

www.history.com
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BerichtGeplaatst: 05 Dec 2010 18:58    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Lingekopf @ 24 Dec 2009 13:46 schreef:
24 december 1914

Buchenkopf (tête des Faux)

Op kerstavond, 24 december 1914, om 22.30 uur, gaat de Radfahrer Kompagnie van het MJB 14 onder commando van Hauptmann von Chappuis in de aanval. Een dikke laag sneeuw verbergt de prikkeldraadversperringen die de voortgang van de mannen vertragen. De genietroepen proberen door de Franse verdediging te breken, maar er komt ook nog een dichte mist op. Ook komt heftig Frans vuur neer op de aanvallers. De overlevenden proberen door hopen sneeuw door te gaan naar de Franse versterkingen. Hauptmann von Chappuis valt zwaargewond neer en ook de rest van de officieren begint te vallen, de een na de ander. De jonge soldaten die nog verder kunnen nemen de eerste Franse loopgraven in maar verdwalen dan op onbekend terrein, omgeven door bommen en granaten. De 2e compagnie en een deel van de 1e proberen de positie te houden van het op de Fransen veroverde terrein. Bijna 50 Chasseurs zijn overdekt met de lichamen van de neergeschoten jonge Jäger. De 4de compagnie, op de rechtervleugel, is bij de ingang van het bos vastgelopen en lijdt zware verliezen; bovendien beginnen de mannen van die compagnie, liggend in de wind in het niemandsland bij een temperatuur van 18 graden onder nul, te bevriezen. Intussen worden de onderdelen die de top van de Buchenkopf konden bereiken van alle kanten beschoten. De reserves uit de Felseneck worden tegengehouden door een artillerie-versperring, en de vorst voorkomt dat de Duitsers hun verworven posities kunnen behouden door het aanleggen van loopgraven. Voor de ingesloten troepen begint munitie en voedsel op te raken. De toestand voor de Duitsers is wanhopig geworden. Op 1e Kerstdag 1914 laat Dinkelacker de dodelijk vermoeide troepen naar de oude posities terugtrekken en de gewonden evacueren. Ze worden vervangen door een bataljon van het 121e LIR.

Het hele verhaal in de Wiki: http://forumeerstewereldoorlog.nl/wiki/index.php/De_gevechten_om_de_Buchenkopf

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Percy Toplis



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BerichtGeplaatst: 23 Dec 2010 16:54    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Christmas truce

Christmas 1914

British and German troops meeting in No man's land during the unofficial truce (British troops from the Northumberland Hussars, 7th Division, Bridoux-Rouge Banc Sector)Though there was no official truce, about 100,000 British and German troops were involved in unofficial cessations of fighting along the length of the Western Front. The first truce started on Christmas Eve, 24 December 1914, when German troops began decorating the area around their trenches in the region of Ypres, Belgium.

The Germans began by placing candles on their trenches and on Christmas trees, then continued the celebration by singing Christmas carols. The British responded by singing carols of their own. The two sides continued by shouting Christmas greetings to each other. Soon thereafter, there were excursions across the 'No Man's Land', where small gifts were exchanged, such as food, tobacco and alcohol, and souvenirs such as buttons and hats. The artillery in the region fell silent that night. The truce also allowed a breathing spell where recently-fallen soldiers could be brought back behind their lines by burial parties. Joint services were held. The fraternisation was not, however, without its risks; some soldiers were shot by opposing forces. In many sectors, the truce lasted through Christmas night, but it continued until New Year's Day in others.

Bruce Bairnsfather, who served throughout the war, wrote: "I wouldn't have missed that unique and weird Christmas Day for anything. ... I spotted a German officer, some sort of lieutenant I should think, and being a bit of a collector, I intimated to him that I had taken a fancy to some of his buttons. ... I brought out my wire clippers and, with a few deft snips, removed a couple of his buttons and put them in my pocket. I then gave him two of mine in exchange. ... The last I saw was one of my machine gunners, who was a bit of an amateur hairdresser in civil life, cutting the unnaturally long hair of a docile Boche, who was patiently kneeling on the ground whilst the automatic clippers crept up the back of his neck."

General Sir Horace Smith-Dorrien, commander of the British II Corps, was irate when he heard what was happening, and issued strict orders forbidding friendly communication with the opposing German troops.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas_truce#Christmas_1914
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BerichtGeplaatst: 23 Dec 2010 16:57    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Kerstbestand 1914: Stille Nacht in niemandsland
Verhaal op de kerstavond van de Jeugdvereniging op 17 december 2005

In de loopgraven

Nu volgt een waar gebeurd verhaal. Het is 24 december 1914, kerstavond, en we zitten midden in de Eerste Wereldoorlog, ergens in het noorden van Frankrijk. Tegen Kerst 1914 waren de soldaten in Frankrijk uitgeput en geschokt door de zware verliezen. Op kerstavond daalde de temperatuur tot beneden het vriespunt, en op sommige plaatsen sneeuwde het. De soldaten werden droevig en dachten aan thuis waar hun familie waarschijnlijk in een warme woonkamer gezellig aan het haardvuur zat. Een bikkelhard loopgravengevecht om elke millimeter. Zelfs het niemandsland (het gebied tussen de stellingen) blijkt niet heilig: militairen kunnen er hun stervende maten niet weghalen omdat overal sluipschutters op de loer liggen. De waanzin van de oorlog ten top. De omstandigheden zijn slopend. De soldaten zitten al tijden te kleumen, zijn ondervoed en knakken mentaal bijna onder de constante dreiging. De naderende kerst, ver weg van familie maar omringd door explosies en granaat-inslagen, zorgt voor verdere demotivatie.

Verschrikkelijke omstandigheden

Het leven aan het Westfront in de winter van 1914 was bepaald geen pretje. De beide strijdende kampen (Engeland en Frankrijk aan de ene zijde en Duitsland aan de andere) hadden zich ingegraven, nadat de oorlog in een patstelling was beland. Het waren zeer erbarmelijke omstandigheden daar in die loopgraven. Door grond- en regenwater hadden de soldaten voortdurend natte voeten. Daardoor konden hun voeten pijnlijk gaan zwellen en hun tenen zelfs afsterven. Ook hadden ze veel last van ongedierte, zoals vlooien, luizen, muggen en ratten. De ratten, soms zo groot als een volwassen kat, knaagden aan de voorraden en aan de gewonde of dode soldaten. De kwaliteit van het voedsel liet veelal te wensen over. De dood lag voortdurend op de loer: de soldaten liepen steeds het risico dat ze werden gedood door een onverwachte granaatinslag of door de kogel van een sluipschutter. Soms werden ze dagenlang dag en nacht bestookt door de vijandelijke artillerie, zodat ze geen moment rust hadden. Of ze moesten dagenlang wachten tot hun eigen artillerie was uitgeraasd ter voorbereiding van een aanval op de vijandelijke loopgraven. Wanneer het aanvalsmoment dan eindelijk was aangebroken, zwegen de zware kanonnen en bliezen de officiers op hun fluitje. Voor de soldaten was dit het teken om uit hun loopgraven te komen, over de borstwering te klimmen en het niemandsland in te lopen op weg naar de loopgraven van de vijand.

Verliescijfers tot dramatische hoogten

De grond was door de talloze granaatinslagen veranderd in een soort maanlandschap dat door metersdiepe kraters nauwelijks begaanbaar was. Vaak bleek het prikkeldraad niet te zijn vernietigd door de eigen artillerie, zodat de opmars werd vertraagd. De ploeterende soldaten waren daardoor een makkelijke prooi voor de vijandelijke mitrailleurs en werden bij bosjes neergemaaid. In december 1914 waren de verliescijfers al tot dramatische hoogten opgelopen. Bij elk van de strijdende partijen liep het aantal doden, gewonden en vermisten reeds in de tienduizenden. Van het Britse leger, dat in augustus op het Europese vasteland was geland om de Fransen en Belgen bij te staan, was bijna niets meer over. En dan gebeurt er die avond iets heel bijzonders...

Kerstliederen zingen

Vanuit de Britse loopgraven konden de soldaten een Duits mannenkoor kerstliederen horen zingen. Elders zagen militairen in de voorste loopgraaf ongebruikelijke lichtjes aan Duitse zijde. Volgens enkele officieren waren de Duitsers een aanval aan het voorbereiden. Maar al snel riep een stem vanuit de Duitse linies: ‘Hé Engelsen, Gelukkig Kerstfeest!’. Even later liet een Duits orkest het Engelse en Duitse volkslied horen, en daarna ‘Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht’. In het ‘niemandsland’ verzamelden Duitse en Britse soldaten zich, waar zij gezamenlijk zongen.

Staakt het vuren afgesproken

Er wordt een staakt het vuren afgesproken. Wanneer een Duitse soldaat zingend uit de loopgraven kruipt en het niemandsland inloopt, volgen de anderen schoorvoetend zijn voorbeeld. Het begin van een ontroerende toenadering: er wordt gezamenlijk gevoetbald, gedronken en gebeden. De militairen wisselen foto’s van elkaar vrouwen en vriendinnen uit en vieren samen kerst.

Broederlijk naast elkaar

Op Kerstochtend, 25 december dus, vlak na het ontbijt, stonden daar in het Niemandsland ineens wel vierhonderd soldaten van beide zijden broederlijk naast elkaar. Eerst wat onwennig: Frohe Weihnachten en Happy Christmas en er werden handen geschud en daarna werden enkele doden begraven die er nog lagen. Iedereen hielp. Ineens was er een bal, ergens vanuit de Duitse lijn. Met wel tweehonderd man holden ze als jonge honden achter die bal aan, zonder spoor van vijandigheid. De hele dag bleven mannen rondhangen in het veld tussen beide frontlijnen in. ‘Ik zal dat beeld nooit meer vergeten’, schreef een Duitse aan zijn ouders: ‘Een Engelsman speelde op de mondharmonica van een Duitse kameraad. Iemand was bijzonder trots dat hij een Duitse pinhelm kon opzetten. De Engelsen zongen een lied en wij zongen Stille Nacht. Het was aangrijpend: tussen de loopgraven stonden aartsvijanden samen liederen te zingen.’

Allemaal in hetzelfde schuitje

Op Eerste Kerstdag, kwamen aan beide kanten van het front de soldaten hun loopgraven uit. In het volle zicht van de vijand werden velddiensten gehouden zonder dat er een schot werd gelost. Beide partijen zwaaiden naar elkaar en enkele moedige soldaten liepen het niemandsland in om elkaar te begroeten. Aanvankelijk vormden zich kleine groepjes, vervolgens steeds grotere, totdat op sommige plekken honderden soldaten bij elkaar stonden. Er werden handen geschut, men bood elkaar een vuurtje aan en wisselde geschenken uit: sigaretten, Duitse worsten en sigaren, ingeblikte hutspot, tabak, familiefoto’s en Londense kranten.

Één van de laatste ooggetuigen aan het woord

Alfred Anderson, één van de laatst levende van de WO1-veteranen, is dit jaar op 109-jarige leeftijd overleden. Hij was erbij toen op kerstochtend 1914 vanaf de Duitse zijde het Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht klonk. Toen het lied beëindigd was, stapte een Duitse soldaat het niemandsland in. ‘Merry Christmas’, riep hij, ‘We not shoot. You not shoot.’ Daarna zwegen de kanonnen en geweren.’ We schreeuwden ‘gelukkig kerstfeest’, hoewel niemand zich gelukkig voelde’, vertelde Anderson vorig jaar in een interview. Na maanden in de loopgraven met het geluid van fluitende kogels, ratelende machinegeweren en verre Duitse stemmen voortdurend op de achtergrond, was het plotseling stil, griezelig stil zelfs, herinnerde Anderson zich. ‘Het was een spookachtige stilte’, vertelde Anderson dit jaar in zijn boek. ‘Alle explosies stopten. We stonden stil en dachten aan onze maten die gesneuveld waren en aan onze families thuis. We hadden twee maanden geweerschoten gehoord, soms Duitse stemmen, maar nu was het overal stil.’

Niet de soldaten, maar de officieren beslisten

Soldaten zeiden tegen elkaar dat ze het verschrikkelijk vonden om aan te vallen. Er werden afspraken gemaakt: als werd bevolen om aan te vallen, zou men eerst fluiten of een steen met een berichtje naar de vijand gooien om te zeggen dat er binnenkort aangevallen zou worden. De soldaten aan beide kanten begonnen in te zien dat het de officieren waren die vijandig gezind waren, en níet de soldaten die aan het front vochten.

Over 700 kilometer

Dit onofficiële Kerstbestand was het begin van een spontaan wapenstilstand, die zich verspreidde over het meer dan 700 kilometer lange Westelijk Front. Soldaten van beide kanten klommen uit de loopgraven, schudden elkaar de hand, maakten foto’s van elkaar, zongen samen kerstliederen en speelden hier en daar een partijtje voetbal. Britse en Duitse bevelhebbers vreesden dat dit soort verbroederingen een einde zouden maken aan de vechtlust van hun ondergeschikten. Dergelijke verbroederingsacties werden daarom van hogerhand officieel streng verboden. Hun vrees bleek ongegrond; de daarop volgende veldslagen zouden in totaal bijna 9.500.000 levens eisen.

http://kerkgeschiedenis.web-log.nl/kerkgeschiedenis/2007/07/kerstbestand_19.html
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Percy Toplis



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BerichtGeplaatst: 23 Dec 2010 16:59    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

he Christmas Truce



You are standing up to your knees in the slime of a waterlogged trench. It is the evening of 24 December 1914 and you are on the dreaded Western Front.

Stooped over, you wade across to the firing step and take over the watch. Having exchanged pleasantries, your bleary-eyed and mud-spattered colleague shuffles off towards his dug out. Despite the horrors and the hardships, your morale is high and you believe that in the New Year the nation's army march towards a glorious victory.

But for now you stamp your feet in a vain attempt to keep warm. All is quiet when jovial voices call out from both friendly and enemy trenches. Then the men from both sides start singing carols and songs. Next come requests not to fire, and soon the unthinkable happens: you start to see the shadowy shapes of soldiers gathering together in no-man's land laughing, joking and sharing gifts.

Many have exchanged cigarettes, the lit ends of which burn brightly in the inky darkness. Plucking up your courage, you haul yourself up and out of the trench and walk towards the foe...

The meeting of enemies as friends in no-man's land was experienced by hundreds, if not thousands, of men on the Western Front during Christmas 1914. Today, 90 years after it occurred, the event is seen as a shining episode of sanity from among the bloody chapters of World War One - a spontaneous effort by the lower ranks to create a peace that could have blossomed were it not for the interference of generals and politicians.

The reality of the Christmas Truce, however, is a slightly less romantic and a more down to earth story. It was an organic affair that in some spots hardly registered a mention and in others left a profound impact upon those who took part.

Many accounts were rushed, confused or contradictory. Others, written long after the event, are weighed down by hindsight. These difficulties aside, the true story is still striking precisely because of its rag-tagged nature: it is more 'human' and therefore all the more potent.

Months beforehand, millions of servicemen, reservists and volunteers from all over the continent had rushed enthusiastically to the banners of war: the atmosphere was one of holiday rather than conflict.

But it was not long before the jovial façade was torn away. Armies equipped with repeating rifles, machine guns and a vast array of artillery tore chunks out of each other, and thousands upon thousands of men perished.

To protect against the threat of this vast firepower, the soldiers were ordered to dig in and prepare for next year's offensives, which most men believed would break the deadlock and deliver victory.

The early trenches were often hasty creations and poorly constructed; if the trench was badly sighted it could become a sniping hot spot. In bad weather (the winter of 1914 was a dire one) the positions could flood and fall in. The soldiers - unequipped to face the rigours of the cold and rain - found themselves wallowing in a freezing mire of mud and the decaying bodies of the fallen.

The man at the Front could not help but have a degree of sympathy for his opponents who were having just as miserable a time as they were.

Another factor that broke down the animosity between the opposing armies were the surroundings. In 1914 the men at the front could still see the vestiges of civilisation. Villages, although badly smashed up, were still standing. Fields, although pitted with shell-holes, had not been turned into muddy lunarscapes.

Thus the other world - the civilian world - and the social mores and manners that went with it was still present at the front. Also lacking was the pain, misery and hatred that years of bloody war build up. Then there was the desire, on all sides, to see the enemy up close - was he really as bad as the politicians, papers and priests were saying?

It was a combination of these factors, and many more minor ones, that made the Christmas Truce of 1914 possible.

On the eve of the Truce, the British Army (still a relatively small presence on the Western Front) was manning a stretch of the line running south from the infamous Ypres salient for 27 miles to the La Bassee Canal.

Along the front the enemy was sometimes no more than 70, 50 or even 30 yards away. Both Tommy and Fritz could quite easily hurl greetings and insults to one another, and, importantly, come to tacit agreements not to fire. Incidents of temporary truces and outright fraternisation were more common at this stage in the war than many people today realise - even units that had just taken part in a series of futile and costly assaults, were still willing to talk and come to arrangements with their opponents.

As Christmas approached the festive mood and the desire for a lull in the fighting increased as parcels packed with goodies from home started to arrive. On top of this came gifts care of the state. Tommy received plum puddings and 'Princess Mary boxes'; a metal case engraved with an outline of George V's daughter and filled with chocolates and butterscotch, cigarettes and tobacco, a picture card of Princess Mary and a facsimile of George V's greeting to the troops. 'May God protect you and bring you safe home,' it said.

Not to be outdone, Fritz received a present from the Kaiser, the Kaiserliche, a large meerschaum pipe for the troops and a box of cigars for NCOs and officers. Towns, villages and cities, and numerous support associations on both sides also flooded the front with gifts of food, warm clothes and letters of thanks.

The Belgians and French also received goods, although not in such an organised fashion as the British or Germans. For these nations the Christmas of 1914 was tinged with sadness - their countries were occupied. It is no wonder that the Truce, although it sprung up in some spots on French and Belgian lines, never really caught hold as it did in the British sector.

With their morale boosted by messages of thanks and their bellies fuller than normal, and with still so much Christmas spammer to hand, the season of goodwill entered the trenches. A British Daily Telegraph correspondent wrote that on one part of the line the Germans had managed to slip a chocolate cake into British trenches.

Even more amazingly, it was accompanied with a message asking for a ceasefire later that evening so they could celebrate the festive season and their Captain's birthday. They proposed a concert at 7.30pm when candles, the British were told, would be placed on the parapets of their trenches.

The British accepted the invitation and offered some tobacco as a return present. That evening, at the stated time, German heads suddenly popped up and started to sing. Each number ended with a round of applause from both sides.

The Germans then asked the British to join in. At this point, one very mean-spirited Tommy shouted: 'We'd rather die than sing German.' To which a German joked aloud: 'It would kill us if you did'.

December 24 was a good day weather-wise: the rain had given way to clear skies.

On many stretches of the Front the crack of rifles and the dull thud of shells ploughing into the ground continued, but at a far lighter level than normal. In other sectors there was an unnerving silence that was broken by the singing and shouting drifting over, in the main, from the German trenches.

Along many parts of the line the Truce was spurred on with the arrival in the German trenches of miniature Christmas trees - Tannenbaum. The sight these small pines, decorated with candles and strung along the German parapets, captured the Tommies' imagination, as well as the men of the Indian corps who were reminded of the sacred Hindu festival of light.

It was the perfect excuse for the opponents to start shouting to one another, to start singing and, in some areas, to pluck up the courage to meet one another in no-man's land.

By now, the British high command - comfortably 'entrenched' in a luxurious châteaux 27 miles behind the front - was beginning to hear of the fraternisation.

Stern orders were issued by the commander of the BEF, Sir John French against such behaviour. Other 'brass-hats' (as the Tommies nick-named their high-ranking officers and generals), also made grave pronouncements on the dangers and consequences of parleying with the Germans.

However, there were many high-ranking officers who took a surprisingly relaxed view of the situation. If anything, they believed it would at least offer their men an opportunity to strengthen their trenches. This mixed stance meant that very few officers and men involved in the Christmas Truce were disciplined.

Interestingly, the German High Command's ambivalent attitude towards the Truce mirrored that of the British.

Christmas day began quietly but once the sun was up the fraternisation began. Again songs were sung and rations thrown to one another. It was not long before troops and officers started to take matters into their own hands and ventured forth. No-man's land became something of a playground.

Men exchanged gifts and buttons. In one or two places soldiers who had been barbers in civilian times gave free haircuts. One German, a juggler and a showman, gave an impromptu, and given the circumstances, somewhat surreal performance of his routine in the centre of no-man's land.

Captain Sir Edward Hulse of the Scots Guards, in his famous account, remembered the approach of four unarmed Germans at 08.30. He went out to meet them with one of his ensigns. 'Their spokesmen,' Hulse wrote, '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. He came from Suffolk where he had left his best girl and a 3 ½ h.p. motor-bike!'

Having raced off to file a report at headquarters, Hulse returned at 10.00 to find crowds of British soldiers and Germans out together chatting and larking about in no-man's land, in direct contradiction to his orders.

Not that Hulse seemed to care about the fraternisation in itself - the need to be seen to follow orders was his concern. Thus he sought out a German officer and arranged for both sides to return to their lines.

While this was going on he still managed to keep his ears and eyes open to the fantastic events that were unfolding.

'Scots and Huns were fraternizing in the most genuine possible manner. Every sort of souvenir was exchanged addresses given and received, photos of families shown, etc. One of our fellows offered a German a cigarette; the German said, "Virginian?" Our fellow said, "Aye, straight-cut", the German said "No thanks, I only smoke Turkish!"... It gave us all a good laugh.'

Hulse's account was in part a letter to his mother, who in turn sent it on to the newspapers for publication, as was the custom at the time. Tragically, Hulse was killed in March 1915.

On many parts of the line the Christmas Day truce was initiated through sadder means. Both sides saw the lull as a chance to get into no-man's land and seek out the bodies of their compatriots and give them a decent burial. Once this was done the opponents would inevitably begin talking to one another.

The 6th Gordon Highlanders, for example, organised a burial truce with the enemy. After the gruesome task of laying friends and comrades to rest was complete, the fraternisation began.

With the Truce in full swing up and down the line there were a number of recorded games of soccer, although these were really just 'kick-abouts' rather than a structured match.

On January 1, 1915, the London Times published a letter from a major in the Medical Corps reporting that in his sector the British played a game against the Germans opposite and were beaten 3-2.

Kurt Zehmisch of the 134th Saxons recorded in his diary: 'The English brought a soccer ball from the trenches, and pretty soon a lively game ensued. How marvellously wonderful, yet how strange it was. The English officers felt the same way about it. Thus Christmas, the celebration of Love, managed to bring mortal enemies together as friends for a time.'

The Truce lasted all day; in places it ended that night, but on other sections of the line it held over Boxing Day and in some areas, a few days more. In fact, there parts on the front where the absence of aggressive behaviour was conspicuous well into 1915.

Captain J C Dunn, the Medical Officer in the Royal Welch Fusiliers, whose unit had fraternised and received two barrels of beer from the Saxon troops opposite, recorded how hostilities re-started on his section of the front.

Dunn wrote: 'At 8.30 I fired three shots in the air and put up a flag with "Merry Christmas" on it, and I climbed on the parapet. He [the Germans] put up a sheet with "Thank you" on it, and the German Captain appeared on the parapet. We both bowed and saluted and got down into our respective trenches, and he fired two shots in the air, and the War was on again.'

The war was indeed on again, for the Truce had no hope of being maintained. Despite being wildly reported in Britain and to a lesser extent in Germany, the troops and the populations of both countries were still keen to prosecute the conflict.

Today, pragmatists read the Truce as nothing more than a 'blip' - a temporary lull induced by the season of goodwill, but willingly exploited by both sides to better their defences and eye out one another's positions. Romantics assert that the Truce was an effort by normal men to bring about an end to the slaughter.

In the public's mind the facts have become irrevocably mythologized, and perhaps this is the most important legacy of the Christmas Truce today. In our age of uncertainty, it comforting to believe, regardless of the real reasoning and motives, that soldiers and officers told to hate, loathe and kill, could still lower their guns and extend the hand of goodwill, peace, love and Christmas cheer.

http://www.firstworldwar.com/features/christmastruce.htm
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The Christmas Truce of 1914

24 December 1914, Christmas Eve - The weather changes to a hard frost. This makes trench conditions a little more bearable. 98 British soldiers die on this day, many are victims of sniper fire. A German aeroplane drops a bomb on Dover: the first air raid in British history. During the afternoon and early evening, British infantry are astonished to see many Christmas trees with candles and paper lanterns, on enemy parapets. There is much singing of carols, hymns and popular songs, and a gradual exchange of communication and even meetings in some areas. Many of these meetings are to arrange collection of bodies. In other places, firing continues. Battalion officers are uncertain how to react; in general they maintain precautions. The night brings a clear, still air with a hard frost.

http://www.1914-1918.net/truce.htm
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BerichtGeplaatst: 23 Dec 2010 17:01    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Utrechts Nieuwsblad (24-12-1914)

http://www.hetutrechtsarchief.nl/collectie/kranten/un/1914/1224
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BerichtGeplaatst: 23 Dec 2010 17:06    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

German soldiers celebrating Christmas in the trenches during WWI, 24th December 1914



http://www.bridgemanart.com/image/German-Photographer-20th-Century/German-soldiers-celebrating-Christmas-in-the-trenches-during-WWI-24th-December-1914-b-w-photo/d9a3ff19020c426e8b1c32f19470f72a?key=wwI&thumb=x150&num=15&page=19
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BerichtGeplaatst: 23 Dec 2010 17:17    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

The 24th of December 1914 - First Bomb Dropped on English Soil

In a war of grinding horror the raid on Dover on December 24 1914, the first time a bomb was dropped from the air on England, was contrastingly ridiculous and ineffective. Indeed calling it a raid is over-dignifying the event.
At around 11 in the morning a single German Taube airplane, flown by Lt. Von Prondzynski, crossed the Channel and arrived over Dover . The pilot pulled a bomb from the cockpit floor, and dangling it over the side of his machine apparently aimed it at Dover Castle , a pretty sizeable target. He missed by 400 yards. Instead of hitting the symbolic castle guarding the coast the bomb landed on a kitchen garden on Leyburne Road. The explosion excavated a crater about four feet deep in the plot, and broke a few windows of the nearby rectory of St James’ Church. And it did claim one casualty, the rectory’s gardener Mr Banks, who had been pruning a tree and was knocked to the ground by the blast. Banks was only bruised and battered, and lived to tell the tale, as did the German pilot who veered off back to Flanders and safety.
In a neat piece of historical symmetry Dover would be the last British town to suffer an air raid just before the Armistice in November 1918 .

http://www.information-britain.co.uk/famdates.php?id=835
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De kerstvrede van 1914



BALDRICK: And then, shortly after, we all met up, didn’t we? Just before Christmas, 1914.

GEORGE: Yes, that’s right. I’d just arrived and we had that wonderful Christmas truce. Do you remember, sir? We could hear “Silent Night” drifting across the still, clear air of No Man’s Land. And then they came, the Germans, emerging out of the freezing night mist, calling to us, and we clambered up over the top and went to meet them.

BLACKADDER: Both sides advanced more during one Christmas piss-up than they managed in the next two-and-a-half years of war.

BALDRICK: Do you remember the football match?

BLACKADDER: Remember it? How could I forget it? I was never offside! could not believe that decision!

BALDRICK: And since then we’ve been stuck here for three flipping years! We haven’t moved!

http://www.historien.nl/?p=98
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BerichtGeplaatst: 23 Dec 2010 17:27    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Le Patriote de l'ouest, 24 december 1914

http://peel.library.ualberta.ca/newspapers/PDW/1914/12/24/1/
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BerichtGeplaatst: 23 Dec 2010 17:30    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Agatha Christie

On 24 December 1914, at the age of twenty-four, Christie married Royal Flying Corps pilot Archie Christie, with whom she would have a daughter, Rosalind (1919-2004). During WWI Agatha worked as a nurse, tending to the ill and injured, many who were displaced Belgians. Their bewilderment and personal sorrows affected her deeply. She amassed a great deal of knowledge about sicknesses and poisons such as strychnine and ricin that she often featured in her novels. Around this time she also started writing her first novel The Mysterious Affair at Styles, an immediate best-seller.

http://www.online-literature.com/agatha_christie/
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BerichtGeplaatst: 23 Dec 2010 22:42    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Football Statistics and History

24 december 1915 - The special committee which had been investigating allegations that the Liverpool v Manchester United played the previous Good Friday was fixed announced its findings. They felt that a number of players had agreed to arrange the result (United won 2-0) but without the knowledge of the officials of the clubs concerned. They recommended that eight players be suspended permanently; J. Sheldon, R.R. Purcell, T. Miller, T. Fairfoull (Liverpool), A. Turnbull, A. Whalley, E.J. West (Manchester United) and also L. Cook (Chester). They also recommended that F. Howard of Manchester City should be suspended until 12 months after the resumption of the registration of players (following the War) because of unsatisfactory evidence. West (known as "Knocker") fought to clear his name in an unsuccesssful action in the High Court in January 1918 and had to wait 30 years before his suspension was lifted in December 1945. "Sandy" Turnbull was killed in action at Loos in 1917. The remainder of the players resumed their careers after the War.

http://www.11v11.com/forums/january/868-24-december.html
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BerichtGeplaatst: 23 Dec 2010 22:43    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Diary of EW Manifold - WWI: Diary Entry - 24th December, 1915

Diary Entry - 24th December, 1915 - Soon after breakfast, the horses having been ordered for ten thirty, Hoyland and I set out for Béthune, to get some port and other foodstuffs from the field force canteen. On arrival in the square, we went straight to the field cashier's office, 1st Army Corps, and collected about 1500 francs. We then made for the barber's and found it full up, as I am told it usually is. Before leaving the cashier's office, I ran across Sanger, who hardly recognised me with my moustache. He is in the 56th, a How battery and, as far as I could gather, their position is somewhere in Harley Street. Shipley is also in the same battery. At twelve, we thought it wise to have lunch, as the Hotel de France is usually well patronised, and the barber could be ambushed when everyone was at lunch. The lunch was pretty poor and, after tiddlywinking about with small dishes, we thought it would be wise to move on, as the lunch seemed to be an endless proceeding. We charged the barber's shop and found that there were six waiting and only two barbers, as the other two were at lunch, so we prepared for a good wait. It was about an hour and a half before we left 'le coiffeur', and we luckily ran into Griffith in the street – this was lucky as we had some chits to give him. At two, we fought our way to the canteen and were lucky in getting what we wanted, after a patient twenty minutes or so. Having seen the goods safely aboard the Mess trap, we went into the square to find the groom and the horses, but they had vanished, so we retired to a café for some refreshment. Our second look around proved successful, as we met Potter, who said he had put the horses undercover at a pub, so we went thither and got underway. We arrived for tea but not without running into a cold squall of rain at Beuvry, which drove us to shelter. Siggers reported, on coming down from the O.B., that the 10 cm gun was again knocking at the front door, but it did not manage to get right inside.

http://ewmanifold.blogspot.com/2010/12/diary-entry-24th-december-1915.html
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BerichtGeplaatst: 23 Dec 2010 22:48    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Grey River Argus , 24 December 1915









http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/cgi-bin/paperspast?a=d&d=GRA19151224.2.56
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BerichtGeplaatst: 23 Dec 2010 22:50    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

"The Oxen" - A Poem for Christmas 1915 - Thomas Hardy

Transcribed directly from the London Times for 24 December 1915

Christmas Eve, and twelve of the clock.
"Now hey are all on their knees,"
An elder said as we sat in a flock
By the embers in hearthside ease.

We pictured the meek mild creatures where
They dwelt in their strawy pen.
Nor did it occur to one of us there
To doubt they were kneeling then.

So fair a fancy few believe [Hynes gives "would weave." ]
In these years! Yet, I feel,
If someone said on Christmas Eve
"Come; see the oxen kneel

"In the lonely barton by yonder comb
Our childhood used to know,"
I should go with him in the gloom,
Hoping it might be so.


http://www.victorianweb.org/authors/hardy/poems/oxen.html
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BerichtGeplaatst: 23 Dec 2010 22:55    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

The Battle of Verdun 1916

The German preparations - On 24 December 1915 the final decision was made to attack Verdun. In total secrecy preparations were made by the Germans. These plans were hardly known to their other army units. The plan was to crush the French front-line completely with a massive artillery bombardment. Over 1,200 German guns were made available for this.


A heavy German mortar in front of Verdun

http://www.wereldoorlog1418.nl/battleverdun/kortverdun/index.htm#01
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BerichtGeplaatst: 23 Dec 2010 23:00    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

D.1922/16 - Jasta 24 - December 1916



http://www.mincbergr.net/index.php?page=d-1922-16---jasta-24
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BerichtGeplaatst: 23 Dec 2010 23:03    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Stijn Streuvels, In oorlogstijd. Het volledige dagboek van de Eerste Wereldoorlog

24 december 1916 - Vandaag bij 't uitgaan van de hoogmis, worden al de uitgangen van de plaats afgezet door Uhlanen en al wie naar huis wil moet controle ondergaan - 't meredeel houden zich in de kerk of in de herbergen tot 't gevaar voorbij is - want wie van ons mensen denkt er ook aan de ‘kaart’ op zak te hebben om ter misse te komen!!!

http://www.dbnl.org/tekst/stre009inoo02_01/stre009inoo02_01_0028.php

24 december 1917 - De algemene toestand opgeven, wordt al moeilijker - en 't wondere is; naarmate de nood stijgt wordt men aan 't oppervlak minder nood gewend: de kleine mensen en arme lieden kopen speelgoed voor de kinderen en juwelen voor de jonkheid. 't Is eigenlijk waar dat men met geld moeilijk ander dingen kopen kan!

http://www.dbnl.org/tekst/stre009inoo02_01/stre009inoo02_01_0040.php
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Laatst aangepast door Percy Toplis op 23 Dec 2010 23:15, in totaal 1 keer bewerkt
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BerichtGeplaatst: 23 Dec 2010 23:07    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Jules Verne's 20.000 mijlen onder zee

Eerste beroemde verfilming stamt uit 1916



De Universal Film Manufacturing Company stond in het tijdperk van de stomme film niet bekend als belangrijkste producent van bewegende beelden. Toch produceerde het in 1916 een film van het beroemde boek van Jules Verne, die niet kon worden gemaakt zonder dure special-effects en speciale fotografie. De film ging in première op 24 december 1916, en was één van de eerste wereldwijde Amerikaanse succesfilms.

Het boek van Jules Verne was al in 1907 primitief verfilmd door de Fransman George Méliès. Voor de 1916-film werden voor het eerst onderwater-opnames gemaakt. Ook de costuums, de locaties en het fullsize scheepsmodel van de onderzeeër Nautilus maakten de film tot de duurste die ooit was gemaakt.

Filmhistorica Christine Hennig schrijft over deze film:

'By 1916, Hollywood was in full swing enough to make a truly remarkable movie like this one. Not only does it feature the first underwater sequences ever shown in a feature film, but it has a compelling story (based on the Jules Verne novel and well-told), striking cinematography, and amazing special effects for its time.

There was obviously a lot of effort and care put into this film, especially when you get to near the end and Captain Nemo begins telling his backstory of the film then switches to some elaborate and expensive scenes of Nemo's former life in India, including elaborate sets, exotically-costumed crowds, and battle sequences.

This comes at the end of a movie featuring elaborate scenes of sea voyages, underwater photography, a submarine made for the film, and desert island survival sequences.

The film holds up extremely well today as t's one of the most exciting and entertaining early films I've seen. Only one moment will make you even think of snickering, and that's the scene with the giant octopus. The creature itself is silly-looking, but the fact that it was even attempted, and attempted underwater, way back in 1916 is nevertheless impressive.'

http://geschiedenis.vpro.nl/artikelen/38199866/
Hier te bekijken: http://www.archive.org/details/20000LeaguesUndertheSea
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BerichtGeplaatst: 23 Dec 2010 23:09    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Kroniek van Baarle in de Eerste Wereldoorlog (1916)

24 december 1916 - Tijdens de kerstnacht beviel in het Baarlese vluchtelin­genkamp Isabella Victoria Gevers van een dochter, Elisabeth. Vader Ludovicus Huysmans, een afgekeurde soldaat uit Meer­hout die was aangesteld tot veldwachter, assisteerde bij de bevalling. (onuitgegeven kroniek van Jan Huijbrechts)

http://www.amaliavansolms.org/joomla/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=189&Itemid=47
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BerichtGeplaatst: 23 Dec 2010 23:17    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Stureplan, 24 december 1917



På en parkbänk vid Stureplan i Stockholm julafton den 24 december 1917

Geen idee waar het over gaat. Gewoon een mooie foto... http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Stureplan_24_december_1917.jpg
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BerichtGeplaatst: 23 Dec 2010 23:20    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

SS. Daybreak, Christmas Eve 1917

Christmas Eve 1917.

From the Memorial Card of Thomas Greenway (of Kinsale)

One sad year has passed away
Since our great sorrow fell,
But in our hearts we mourn the loss
Of those we loved so well.
We think of him in silence,
And his name we oft recall:
But there’s nothing left to answer,
But his picture on the wall.

Sacred Heart of Jesus
HAVE MERCY ON THE SOUL OF:

THOMAS GREENWAY
Who lost his life off “SS. Daybreak”.
On 24th December, 1917.
Aged 45 years.
RIP

Most merciful Jesus, lover of souls we beseech Thee,
by the agony of Thy Most Sacred
Hearth and by the sorrows of Thy immaculate
Mother, cleanse in Thy blood the soul of Thy servant – Amen.

Roll on, Roll on, on Western deep,
That loved my lovely boy to sleep.
Were I to know Lough Swilly’s shore
Would be your grave for evermore,
I’d clasp you to my loving heart,
And never would I let you part.

The SS Daybreak was sunk as a result of a torpedo fired without warning by a
German submarine on Christmas Eve 1917 near South Rock Lightship, Strangford Lough, off
the Ards Peninsula, Co Down. Previous records stated that the vessel was sunk at Lough
Swilly and this is even mentioned in the memorial card of Thomas Greenway.

Although a British ship registered in West Hartlepool on the North East coast of England, she
was defensively armed due to the state of hostilities and actually survived a U-boat attack in
the Arctic Ocean on November 1, 1916.

Three Kinsale men amongst the crew died that day, they were: James Barrett, ordinary seaman, aged 18, son of Patrick and Hannah Barrett, Fisher Street (now Lower O’Connell Street). William
O’Connor, able seaman, aged 39, son of Michael and Ellen O’Connor and husband of Ellen
(nee McCarthy), Higher (O’Connell) Street. He was born at Brownsmills. Thomas Greenway,
boatswain, aged 47, son of the late James and Mary Greenway and husband of the late Nora
Greenway.

An eye witness, John Bailie of Newcastle, a boat contractor attending the South Rock Lightship, recalled the loss of the steamer one mile east. “I remember being on the South Rock as a temporary for 2/6 a day, feed yourself. On Christmas Eve 1917 at about midday, the Daybreak, loaded with maize, was torpedoed and 21 were lost. Her nose was cut clean off. It happened so quick her propeller was going round in the air as she sank. You talk about explosions, boilers were bursting one after another”.

On Christmas Day, the same U-boat 87 attacked a convoy in the Irish Sea but sank after being rammed by the sloop HMS Buttercup and British patrol boat PC56. All of its 44 crew perished..

The names of all casualties of the Daybreak are listed at the Merchant Navy Association’s Commonwealth War Dead Memorial at Tower Hill, London (which has a total of 22,000 names). In 1998, Jim Greenway, of Barry presented the World War 1 medals of his Grandfather Thomas to Kinsale Regional Museum at a function in the Municipal Hall, Kinsale.

The Daybreak is remembered in a poem by Captain Joe Earl.
The S.S. DAYBREAK

Nineteen seventeen it was – during perilous days,
The freighter S.S. Daybreak loaded deep with maize,
Steamed along on Christmas Eve near the Southern Rock,
Off the coast of County Down abeam of Strangford Lough,

No notice or forewarning, a torpedo found its mark,
It came and blew the nose right off – plunging all in dark
The vessel’s screw rotating during its descent,
Her boilers then exploding as underneath they went.

U – Boat Eighty Seven had loosed her lethal load,
To meet this helpless target on a winter’s ocean road,
One and twenty brave men - the total of her crew,
Murdered in the Irish Sea by folk they never knew,

It was seen by witnesses or perhaps we’d never know,
What occurred to brave men dragged down far below,
Entombed there now forever, thirty fathoms deep,
Akin to unsung mariners in Davy Jones’s keep.

Joe Earl

Honoured also at Tower Hill is James Greenway, Brother to Thomas who was
boatswain on the SS Tregenna, built at West Hartlepool in 1919 but registered in St. Ives,
Cornwall when it was torpedoed and sunk by German submarine U-65 while in convoy North
West of Rockall in the Atlantic Ocean while on a return voyage from Philadelphia to
Newport, Monmouthshire, with a cargo of 8,000 tons of steel during World War II on
September 17, 1940. Thirty-three died and four survived. James Greenway was aged 62.
Another Irishman to perish was ordinary seaman Michael O’Brien from Arklow.

CHRISTMAS 1917 - HOW DEEP THEIR GRAVES

Canova, 4,637grt, defensively-armed, 24 December 1917, 15 miles South from Mine Head, torpedoed without warning and sunk by submarine, 7 lives lost

Daybreak, 3,238grt, defensively-armed, 24 December 1917, 1 mile East from South Rock LV, torpedoed without warning and sunk by submarine, 21 lives lost including Master

Turnbridge, 2,874grt, defensively-armed, 24 December 1917, 34 miles NE by N from Cape Ivi, torpedoed without warning and sunk by submarine, 1 life lost

Argo, 3,071grt, defensively-armed, 24 December 1917, 18 miles NW from Cape Tenez, torpedoed without warning and sunk by submarine

Cliftondale, 3,811grt, defensively-armed, 25 December 1917, 36 miles E by N ½ N from Cape Tenez, torpedoed without warning and sunk by submarine, 3 lives lost, Master prisoner

Agberi, 4,821grt, defensively-armed, 25 December 1917, 18 miles NW ½ N from Bardsey Island, torpedoed without warning and sunk by submarine

Umballa, 5,310grt, defensively armed, 25 December 1917, 8 miles SW by W from Cape Scalea, Gulf of Policastro, torpedoed without warning and sunk by submarine, 15 lives lost

Tregenna, 5,772grt, defensively-armed, 26 December 1917, 9 miles south from Dodman Point, torpedoed without warning and sunk by submarine

They Bore the Brunt
By Joe Earl

They sailed the seas to bear the brunt,
They steamed the courses laid,
Ten thousand miles their battle front,
Unbacked and undismayed.
Fine seamen these of our great race,
From your seaport or town,
They risked their lives with danger faced
Until their ship went down.
Remember them - they held the line,
Won freedom on the way,
Remember them - their life was thine -
On merchant navy day.

J.Earl

SS. Daybreak: Captain and crew.

POPE, Master, S F,
OWEN, First Mate, WILLIAM,
DOBSON, Second Mate,
GREENWAY, Boatswain (Bosun), THOMAS,
SUMNER, Signalman, FRANK,
HARROP-GRIFFITHS, Second Engineer, JOSEPH,
POSTLETHWAITE, Steward, TOM BENNETT,
GULWELL, Mess Room Steward, ERNEST,
HOLLAND, Ship's Cook, JAMES ALLCOCK,
VERNEY, Able Seaman, SAMUEL,
FREDERICKSEN, Able Seaman, T,
COLLINS, Able Seaman, W,
GOMEZ, Able Seaman, JACINE,
O'CONNOR, Able Seaman, WILLIAM,
BIANCHI, Fireman, PAOLO,
KENNEDY, Fireman, JOSEPH,
MUSCAT, Fireman, MICHAEL,
WILKINS, Fireman, W,
PEPPER, Ordinary Seaman, THOMAS
BARRETT, Ordinary Seaman, JAMES,

ARCHANGEL ALLIED CEMETERY, Russian Federation
ROSS, Ordinary Seaman, JOHN HAMILTON, J/51016, S.S. "Daybreak.", Royal Navy.
Killed by an internal explosion of the vessel 8 November 1916. Age 21.

We attempt to spare a thought for all:
Christmas Day, MN Day and every Day.

LEST WE FORGET.

"Let those who come after see to it that his name be not forgotten".

http://www.merchant-navy.net/forum/showthread.php?t=1521
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BerichtGeplaatst: 23 Dec 2010 23:25    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Ivan Logginovitch Goremykin



Ivan Logginovitch Goremykin (8 November 1839 – 24 December 1917) was a Russian prime minister during World War I and politician with extremely conservative political views. (...)

Called back to service by the Tsar, he again served as Chairman of the Council of Ministers (Prime Minister) from 1914 to 1916. The hostility expressed toward him by members of both the State Duma and the Council of Ministers greatly impaired the effectiveness of his government. When Nicholas II decided to take direct command of the army, Goremykin urged the Council to endorse the decision. When they refused, he told the Tsar that he (Goremykin) was "not fitted for my position" and asked to be replaced with "a man of more modern views". His wish for retirement was granted at the beginning of February 1916, when he was replaced by another conservative, Boris Stürmer.

In the aftermath of the October Revolution, Goremykin was recognized as a member of the Tsarist government and was killed by a street mob on 24 December 1917.

http://www.answers.com/topic/ivan-goremykin
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BerichtGeplaatst: 23 Dec 2010 23:29    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Commission Document to Benner W Wilson First LT in Aviation Section of the Signal Corps Dated 24 December 1917



Is te koop... http://www.snyderstreasures.com/pages/usaviation.htm
En ja, deze mensen kunnen rekenen... http://www.snyderstreasures.com/index.htm
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Dr Siegwart Bruehl

The military office at Keswick asked the Hawker Police to keep an eye on Dr Bruehl and report on him and in November 1917 informed the Intelligence Section of the General Staff to make inquiries if Bruehl had been naturalised or not. The Department of External Affairs also requested to report on Bruehl's history and character.

Three weeks later Bruehl wrote to the Minister of External Affairs informing him that he had taken the Oath, filled in all the required papers and had them signed by all authorities, but still had no certificate. During this time he had been pestered by the local police and even threatened with arrest if not appearing at intervals when professional duties prevented him from doing so. To add insult to injury Keswick wrote on 14 December 1917 that Bruehl had failed to complete his naturalisation in 1892 and warned that he was liable to prosecution and internment under the War Precautions Act.

On 24 December 1917 Bruehl signed a declaration at Hawker stating 'I hereby swear that I will not take up arms against Great Britain, her Overseas Dominions, or her Allies, and will not act in anyway inimical to the interests of these countries until the end of this war. So help me God'. As a result he was released on parole on the condition that he 'strictly comply with the conditions of the Parole, Refrain from all acts of a suspicious nature, Report any intended journey from place of residence and Report any change of address.

http://www.southaustralianhistory.com.au/bruehl.htm
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BerichtGeplaatst: 23 Dec 2010 23:35    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Britain's Azerbaijan Policy (November 1917 - September 1918)

Dunsterville braves setbacks in Baku expedition

The British failed to carry out a Baku expedition in the first half of 1918, as Britain’s main forces were involved in campaigns in other regions. The operations in Baku required the support of additional forces. Moreover, the British were not well acquainted with the geographical features of the regions between Mesopotamia and Baku. The attitude of the Persians and the Kurds, as well as Mirze Kuchuk Khan, ruler of Gilan, who managed to get in touch with the Turks and Germans, also prevented the British from moving.

Taking into account all these difficulties, the British command had in late 1917 forwarded a special mission of 200 officers and the same number of soldiers to Tbilisi. The mission restored the abandoned Russian, Georgian and Armenian military bases and had to stand against the Turks. But it was difficult to recruit local people to build armed forces against the German-Ottoman alliance. The Muslims sympathised with the Ottomans, while the Georgians placed their hopes in the Germans.

Unfavourable conditions and prevailing difficulties did not deter the British. On 24 December 1917 Gen Dunsterville and what became known as his Dunsterforce were given an order to move along the Baghdad - Baku - Bukhara route. Not only British officials but also the British people were urging the government to make a special effort. The British press was giving priority to taking the Caucasus.

Lees alles op http://www.visions.az/history,151/
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BerichtGeplaatst: 23 Dec 2010 23:40    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Admiral of the Fleet John Jellicoe, 1859-1935, 1st Earl Jellicoe



In November 1911, he was appointed second-in-command of the British Grand Fleet, and on the outbreak of the First World War, became its commander. He led it in the Battle of Jutland on 31 May 1916 but was criticized for his defensive attitude towards sea warfare and in late 1916 was replaced by Sir David Beatty. He became First Sea Lord until his dismissal by the Prime Minister, David Lloyd George, on 24 December 1917, following a disagreement about the introduction of convoys in the Battle of the Atlantic.

http://www.nmm.ac.uk/collections/explore/object.cfm?ID=BHC2804
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BerichtGeplaatst: 23 Dec 2010 23:46    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

A Christmas Wish, postmarked Dec. 24 1917, 9 AM





http://www.forgottenbookmarks.com/2008_12_01_archive.html

Tip: Dit is een heerlijke site... http://www.forgottenbookmarks.com/
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BerichtGeplaatst: 23 Dec 2010 23:52    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Germany, Christmas crisis, 24-25 December 1918







http://www.ww1-propaganda-cards.com/images/rev%2024-12-18%2014.JPG
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BerichtGeplaatst: 23 Dec 2010 23:56    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Germany 1918-19: Social Democracy sets a deadly trap for the revolution

The military provocations of 6 & 24 December 1918

Just one month after the start of the struggles the SPD ordered the police to enter by force the offices of Spartakus' newspaper, Die Rote Fahne. Karl Liebknecht, Rosa Luxemburg and other Spartakists, but also members of the Berlin Executive Council, were arrested. At the same time troops loyal to the government attacked a demonstration of soldiers who had been demobilised or had deserted; fourteen demonstrators were killed. In response several factories went on strike on 7 December; general assemblies were held everywhere in the factories. For the first time on 8 December there was a demonstration of workers and armed soldiers in which more that 150,000 participated. In the towns of the Ruhr, like Mülheim, workers and soldiers arrested some industrialists.

Confronted with these provocations from the government, the revolutionaries did not push for an immediate insurrec­tion but called for the massive mobilisa­tion of the workers. The Spartakists made the analysis that the conditions were not yet ripe for the overthrow of the bour­geois government, particularly in so far as the capacities of the working class were concerned.

The national Congress of the councils that took place in the middle of December 1918 showed that this was in fact the case and the bourgeoisie profited from the situation. The delegates to this Congress decided to submit their deci­sions to a National Assembly that was to be elected. At the same time a Central Council (Zentralrat) was set up that was composed exclusively of members of the SPD who pretended to speak in the name of the workers' councils and the soldiers in Germany. The bourgeoisie realised that they could use this political weakness of the working class by unleashing an­other military provocation following the Congress: on 24 December the com­mando units and the governmental troop went onto the offensive. Eleven sailors and several soldiers were killed. Once more there was great indignation among the workers. Those of the Daimler mo­tor company and several other Berlin factories formed a Red Guard. On 25 December powerful demonstrations took place in response to this attack. The government was forced to retreat. Now that the governing team was being in­creasingly discredited, the USPD, which up to then had participated in it along with the SPD, withdrew.



http://en.internationalism.org/wr/320/german-revolution
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BerichtGeplaatst: 23 Dec 2010 23:59    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

USS Siboney



Soldiers boarding the ship at the U.S. Army docks at American Bassens, Gironde River, France, 24 December 1918.
Note the caterpiller tractors on railroad cars in the background, and rifle-armed sentries wearing campaign hats.
Photographed by Machinist John G. Krieger, USN.

http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/sh-usn/usnsh-s/id2999-k.htm
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BerichtGeplaatst: 24 Dec 2010 0:05    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Woodrow Wilson - The end of the wilson administration, 1919–1921

Departmental heads and Congress met the problems of demobilization without much guidance from the White House. The new attorney general, Alexander Mitchell Palmer, on 8 November 1919, secured an injunction that prevented a nationwide coal strike by the United Mine Workers of America. A federal arbitration commission soon granted most of the miners' demands. Palmer, with an eye on the White House and in response to a mounting fear of Communism, had federal agents, on 1 January 1920, execute a gigantic raid on Communist headquarters throughout the country. It is doubtful if Wilson knew anything about Palmer's raid.

Wilson announced on 24 December 1919 that he would return the railroads to their owners on 1 March 1920 unless Congress instructed otherwise. Congress responded with the Transportation Act of 1920, which affirmed the principle of private ownership but also established comprehensive federal control over all aspects of the railroad business. At the same time, before he left office, Secretary of the Interior Lane was assured of passage of the Water Power and General Leasing acts by Congress in early 1920. Their adoption brought to an end controversies that had worried the Wilson administration since 1913. One of the crowning achievements of the Wilson administration—the Nineteenth Amendment, which conferred the vote upon women—came to fulfillment with ratification of the amendment on 26 August 1920. Finally, Wilson vetoed, on 27 May 1920, a joint resolution ending the war with Germany. A separate peace, he said, "would place ineffable stain upon the gallantry and honor of the United States." (A joint resolution to end the state of war was approved by President Harding in July 1921.) Wilson vetoed, unsuccessfully, the Volstead Act of 1919 for the enforcement of national prohibition under the Eighteenth Amendment. In his last important act as president, he vetoed emergency bills to increase tariff rates and severely limit the admission of immigrants. Congress passed both measures again in May 1921, and the new president signed them.

http://www.presidentprofiles.com/Grant-Eisenhower/Woodrow-Wilson-The-end-of-the-wilson-administration-1919-1921.html
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BerichtGeplaatst: 24 Dec 2010 0:17    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Die Antwort des Reichskanzlers auf die französische Regierungs-Erklärung vom 22. Dezember

Berlin. 24. Dezember. (W. B.)

Wie wir erfahren, hat der Reichskanzler an die Kaiserlichen Botschafter und Gesandten nachstehendes Rundschreiben gerichtet:

Großes Hauptquartier, den 24. Dezember 1914.

In der Rede, die Ministerpräsident Viviani in der französischen Kammer gehalten hat, befindet sich der Passus, daß Frankreich und Rußland am 31. Juli dem englischen Vorschlag beigestimmt hätten, die militärischen Vorbereitungen einzustellen und in Verhandlungen in London einzutreten. Hätte Deutschland zugestimmt, so hätte der Friede noch in dieser letzten Stunde erhalten werden können. Da ich diese im französischen Parlament ausgesprochene falsche Behauptung von der Tribüne des Deutschen Reichtages nicht widerlegen kann, so sehe ich mich veranlaßt, Euer P. P. die nachstehenden Darlegungen zuzustellen, mit dem Ersuchen, davon den weitestgehenden Gebrauch zu machen.
Der britische Konferenzvorschlag, der im englischen Blaubuch unter Nr. 36 abgedruckt ist, stammt vom 26. Juli. Sein Inhalt war, daß Vertreter von Deutschland, Frankreich und Italien mit Sir Edward Grey in London zusammentreten sollten, um dort einen Ausweg aus den Schwierigkeiten, die in der serbischen Frage entstanden waren, zu suchen. Von Anfang an hat Deutschland den Standpunkt vertreten, daß der Konflikt zwischen Serbien und Österreich-Ungarn eine Angelegenheit sei, die nur die nächstbeteiligten beiden Staaten berühre. Diesen Standpunkt hat auch Sir Edward Grey später selbst anerkannt. Deutschland mußte den englischen Konferenzvorschlag ablehnen, weil es nicht zulassen konnte, daß Österreich-Ungarn in einer Frage seiner nationalen Lebensinteressen, die nur Österreich-Ungarn selbst anging, einem Tribunal der Großmächte unterstellt würde. Aus dem deutschen Weißbuch geht hervor, daß auch Österreich-Ungarn den Konferenzvorschlag als unannehmbar bezeichnete. Durch seine Kriegserklärung an Serbien dokumentierte es, seinen festen Willen, die serbische Frage ohne das Dazwischentreten der Mächte allein zu regeln. Zugleich erklärte es aber, um alle gerechten Ansprüche Rußlands zu befriedigen, sein vollkommenes territoriales Desinteresse Serbien gegenüber. Da Rußland sich nicht mit dieser Versicherung begnügte, war aus der serbischen Frage eine europäische geworden, die zunächst in einer Spannung zwischen Österreich-Ungarn und Rußland ihren Ausdruck fand.
Um zu verhindern, daß aus dieser Spannung eine europäische Konflagration sich entwickelte, mußte ein neuer Boden gesucht werden, auf dem eine Vermittlungsaktion der Mächte sich anbahnen konnte. Es war Deutschland, dem das Verdienst gebührt, diesen Boden zuerst betreten zu haben. Staatssekretär v. Jagow wies in seinem Gespräch mit dem britischen Botschafter am 27. Juli darauf hin, daß er in dem Wunsche Rußland, mit Österreich-Ungarn direkt zu verhandeln, eine friedliche Lösung erblickte. Diesen Wunsch, durch den die englische Konferenzidee auch nach russischer Meinung vorläufig ausgeschaltet war, hat Deutschland von dem Tage, wo er geäußert wurde, mit aller Energie, die ihm zu Gebote stand, in Wien unterstützt. Kein Staat kann ehrlicher und energischer danach gestrebt haben, den Frieden der Welt zu erhalten, als Deutschland. England selbst verzichtete nunmehr darauf, seine Konferenzidee weiter zu verfolgen, und unterstützte auch seinerseits den Gedanken der direkten Verhandlungen zwischen Wien und Petersburg (Blaubuch 67). Diesen begegneten jedoch Schwierigkeiten, und zwar Schwierigkeiten, die nicht von Deutschland und Österreich-Ungarn, sondern von den Ententemächten herbeigeführt wurden. Sollten Deutschlands Bemühungen gelingen, so bedurfte es des guten Willens der nicht unmittelbar engagierten Mächte, es bedurfte aber auch des Stillhaltens der Hauptbeteiligten, denn wenn eine der beiden Mächte, zwischen denen vermittelt werden sollte, die im Gange befindliche Aktion durch militärische Maßnahmen störte, so war von vornherein klar, daß diese Aktion nie zum Ziele gelangen konnte.
Wie stand es nun mit dem guten Willen der Mächte? Wie
Frankreich sich verhielt, ergibt sich mit aller Deutlichkeit aus dem französischen Gelbbuch. Es traute den deutschen Versicherungen nicht. Alle Schritte des deutschen Botschafters Frhrn. v. Schoen wurden mit Mißtrauen aufgenommen. Sein Wunsch auf mäßigende Einwirkung Frankreichs in Petersburg wurde nicht beachtet, denn man glaubte, annehmen zu sollen, daß die Schritte Herrn v. Schoens nur dazu bestimmt waren, à compromettre la France au regard de la Russie.
Aus dem französischen Gelbbuch ergibt sich, daß Frankreich keinen einzigen positiven Schritt im Interesse des Friedens getan hat.
Was für eine Haltung hat England angenommen? In den diplomatischen Gesprächen gibt es sich den Anschein, bis zur letzten Stunde zu vermitteln, aber seine äußeren Handlungen hatten es auf eine Demütigung der beiden Dreibundmächte abgesehen. England war die erste Großmacht, die militärische Maßnahmen in großem Stil anordnete und dadurch eine Stimmung, insbesondere bei Rußland und Frankreich, schuf, die allen Vermittlungsaktionen im höchsten Grade abträglich war. Es ergibt sich aus dem Berichte des französischen Geschäftsträgers in London vom 27. Juli (Gelbbuch Nr. 66), daß schon am 24. Juli der Befehlshaber der englischen Flotte diskret seine Maßnahmen für die Zusammenziehung der Flotte bei Portland getroffen hatte. Großbritannien hat also früher mobilisiert als selbst Serbien. Großbritannien hat sich ferner ebenso wie Frankreich geweigert, in Petersburg mäßigend und zügelnd einzuwirken. Auf die Meldungen des englischen Botschafters in Petersburg, aus denen klar hervorging, daß nur eine Mahnung an Rußland, mit der Mobilisation einzuhalten, die Situation retten könnte, hat Sir Edward Grey nichts getan, sondern die Dinge gehen lassen, wie sie gingen. Zu gleicher Zeit hat er aber geglaubt, daß es nützlich sein würde, Deutschland und Österreich-Ungarn, wenn auch in nicht ganz klarer Weise, doch deutlich genug darauf hinzuweisen, daß sich auch England an einem europäischen Kriege beteiligen könnte. Zu derselben Zeit also, wo England sich nach dem Fallenlassen seiner Konferenzidee den Anschein gab, zu wünschen, daß sich Österreich-Ungarn auf Deutschlands Vermittlung hin nachgiebig zeigen sollte, weist Sir Edward Grey den österreichisch-ungarischen Botschafter in London auf die englische Flottenmobilisation hin (Blaubuch Nr. 48), gibt dem deutschen Botschafter zu verstehen, daß sich auch England an einem Kriege beteiligen könnte, und unterrichtet die Botschafter des Zweibundes sofort von dieser an die deutsche Adresse gerichteten Warnung, womit der Sieg der Kriegspartei in Petersburg besiegelt war. Es war das gerade diejenige Haltung, die nach der sachverständigen Ansicht des englischen Botschafters Buchanan am ungeeignetsten war, eine gute Stimmung zwischen den Mächten hervorzurufen.
Unter diesen Schwierigkeiten wird man es als einen besonderen Erfolg betrachten dürfen, daß es Deutschland gelang, Österreich-Ungarn dem Wunsche Rußlands, in Sonderverhandlungen einzutreten, geneigt zu machen. Hätte Rußland, ohne seinerseits militärische Maßnahmen zu treffen, die Verhandlungen mit Österreich-Ungarn, das nur gegen Serbien mobilisiert hatte, im Gange gehalten, so hätte die volle Aussicht auf Erhaltung des Weltfriedens bestanden. Statt dessen mobilisierte Rußland gegen Österreich-Ungarn, wobei Sasonow sich völlig darüber klar war (Blaubuch 78), daß damit alle Verständigungen mit Österreich-Ungarn hinfielen. Das mühsame Resultat der deutschen Vermittlungsverhandlungen war damit mit einem Schlag erledigt.
Was geschah nun von seiten der Ententemächte, um den Frieden in dieser letzten Stunde zu erhalten? Sir Edward Grey nahm seinen Konferenzvorschlag wieder auf. Auch nach Ansicht des Herrn Sasonow war jetzt der geeignete Moment gekommen, um unter dem Druck der russischen Mobilisation gegen Österreich-Ungarn den alten englischen Gedanken der Konversation zu Vieren wieder zu empfehlen. (Deutsches Weißbuch Seite 7.) Graf Pourtales ließ den Minister nicht im Zweifel darüber, daß nach seiner Auffassung die Ententemächte hiermit dasselbe von Österreich-Ungarn verlangten, was sie Serbien nicht hatten zumuten wollen, nämlich unter militärischem Druck nachzugeben. Unter solchen Umständen konnte Deutschland und Österreich-Ungarn der Konferenzengedanke unmöglich sympathisch sein. Trotzdem erklärte Deutschland in London, daß es im Prinzip den Vorschlag einer Intervention der vier Mächte annähme. Ihm widerstrebe lediglich die Form einer Konferenz. Gleichzeitig drang der deutsche Botschafter in Petersburg auf Sasonow, auch seinerseits Konzessionen zu machen, um einen Kompromiß zu ermöglichen. Daß diese Bemühungen fruchtlos blieben, ist bekannt. Rußland selbst schien an der weiteren Vermittlungstätigkeit Deutschlands in Wien, die bis zur letzten Stunde weitergeführt wurde, nichts mehr zu liegen. Es ordnete in der Nacht vom 30. zum 31. Juli die Mobilisation seiner gesamten Streitkräfte an, was die Mobilisation Deutschlands und dessen spätere Kriegserklärung zur Folge haben musste.
Angesichts dieses Ganges der Ereignisse ist es nicht verständlich, wie ein verantwortlicher Staatsmann den Mut finden kann, zu behaupten, daß Deutschland, das sich der russischen Mobilisation, den militärischen Vorbereitungen Frankreichs und der Mobilisierung der englischen Flotte gegenüber fand, noch am 31. Juli durch die Annahme einer unter den erhobenen Waffen der Ententemächte abzuhaltenden Konferenz den Frieden hätte retten können. Es war nicht das bis zur letzten Stunde in Wien vermittelnde Deutschland, das die Idee der Vermittlung der vier Mächte unmöglich gemacht hat, es waren die militärischen Maßnahmen der Ententemächte, die Friedensworte im Munde führten, während sie zum Kriege entschlossen waren.

v. Bethmann Hollweg

http://www.stahlgewitter.com/14_12_24.htm
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BerichtGeplaatst: 24 Dec 2010 0:18    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Eine Rede des Papstes

Rom, 24. Dezember. (W. B.)

Der Papst empfing heute Vormittag im Thronsaale das Kardinals - Kollegium, um dessen Weihnachtswünsche entgegenzunehmen. Dem Empfange wohnten 23 Kardinäle und Beamte des päpstlichen Hofes bei. Kardinal Datarius V. Vannutelli verlas die Adresse, drückte dem Papste die Weihnachtswünsche aus und wies auf das Werk des Papstes hin, das darauf ziele, den Frieden zwischen den Völkern herbeizuführen. Die Adresse fügte hinzu, dass, wenn der Papst auch nicht eine Waffenruhe während des Weihnachtsfestes erzielen konnte, er doch seine Bemühungen für den Frieden nicht aufgeben wolle.
Der Papst antwortete in einer längeren Rede. Er dankte für die Wünsche und gedachte in lobenden Worten seines großen Vorgängers Pius X. Dann fuhr er fort: Unter den Wünschen des Heiligen Kollegiums erscheine ihm keiner dem Weihnachtsfest mehr zu entsprechen als der Wunsch, der alle Herzen bewege: der Wunsch nach Frieden. Diesen Wunsch habe er mit besonderem Eifer aufgenommen, dazu getrieben durch die schmerzlichen Ereignisse, die seit fünf Monaten in der ganzen Welt Trauer verursachten. Unglücklicherweise habe die Vorsehung seinem Pontifikat keine frohen Auspizien gegeben, denn während man den neuen Papst mit Freudenrufen hätte begrüßen wollen, sei er mit Waffen- und Schlachtenlärm begrüßt worden. Aber er habe von Beginn seines Pontifikats die Größe seiner Friedensmission als Nachfolger Christi nicht übersehen können. Er habe öffentlich und privatem keinen Weg unversucht gelassen, damit sein Rat, sein Wille und seine Sorge für den Frieden gut aufgenommen würden. In diesem Sinne habe er einen Waffenstillstand zu Weihnachten vorzuschlagen gedacht, in der Hoffnung, daß man, wenn auch nicht das schwarze Gespenst des Krieges verscheuchen, so doch wenigstens denen Linderung bringen könnte, denen der Krieg Wunden geschlagen habe. Leider sei diese christliche Anregung nicht von Erfolg gekrönt gewesen, aber das habe ihn nicht entmutigt, sondern er beabsichtige durch seine Anstrengungen, das Ende des Krieges zu beschleunigen oder wenigstens dessen traurige Folgen zu erleichtern, fortzusetzen. Er sei, nicht ohne Hoffnung auf einen glücklichen Ausgang, für den Austausch von Kriegsgefangenen eingetreten,. die für einen späteren Kriegsdienst unbrauchbar sind. Ferner habe er gewünscht, daß Priester, die der Sprache der Gefangenen kundig sind, sich diesen nähern, um sie zu trösten und wohlwollende Vermittler zwischen ihnen und ihren Familien zu bilden, die vielleicht aus Mangel an Nachrichten in Sorge seien. Der Papst drückte zum Schluß den Wunsch aus, daß der Krieg bald ende und die Regierenden wie die Völker auf die Stimme des Engels hören möchten, der das Geschenk des Friedens ankündige. Er hoffe fest, daß Gott diesen Wunsch gut aufnehmen werde, und fordere auf, zu beten, daß dies geschehe. Der Papst schloß mit den besten Wünschen für das Kardinals-Kollegium und erteilte darauf den apostolischen Segen.

http://www.stahlgewitter.com/14_12_24.htm
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BerichtGeplaatst: 24 Dec 2010 0:19    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Weihnachtsfrieden 1914

24. Dezember 1914, erstes Kriegsjahr des Ersten Weltkriegs, morgens: "Wir feiern morgen Weihnachten. Wittert nichts Böses!" Diese seltsame Ankündigung konnten französische Soldaten aus dem deutschen Schützengraben lesen, der dem ihren gegenüberlag. Daraus wurde ein gemeinsames Weihnachtsfest.

Am Morgen des 24. Dezember 1914, mitten im 1. Weltkrieg, lesen französische Soldaten am Drahthindernis unweit ihres Schützengrabens folgende, von deutscher Feindeshand geschriebene Botschaft: "Wir feiern morgen Weihnachten. Wittert nichts Böses!"

Der Tag vergeht. Wieder ein Tag mehr, den der Menschen fressende Krieg für sich fordert. Dann breitet sich die kalte Nacht über das Schlachtfeld bei Reims, die Gewehrsalven haben Pause, und Tod und Verwüstung liegen unter dem Mantel der Dunkelheit begraben.

Plötzlich leise Schritte. Die französischen Soldaten spähen aus ihren Gräben. An dem Drahthindernis, dort wo heute Morgen die merkwürdige Weihnachtsankündigung hing, leuchtet es. Im Gebiet zwischen dem deutschen und dem französischen Schützengraben, mitten im sogenannten "Niemandsland", steht ein Christbaum. Ein Ingenieur des deutschen Brigaderegiments hat sein Heimweh wochenlang damit betäubt, alte Glühbirnen und Batterien zu sammeln, um daraus Lichterketten zu basteln. Lauter kleine Tannenbäume leuchten mit einem mal auf den Grabenwällen der Feindesseite auf. Und nun hören die französischen Soldaten es auch noch aus den deutschen Schützengräben singen. "Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht", "Oh, du fröhliche", "Es ist ein Ros´ entsprungen" – so tönte es immer lauter und inbrünstiger, wenn auch etwas schief, über das erfrorene Schlachtfeld.

Am nächsten Morgen, dem Morgen des ersten Weihnachtsfeiertags, sehen die Deutschen aus dem feindlichen Schützengraben ein paar Franzosenkäppis herüberwinken. Eine Einladung. Franzosen und Deutsche lugen vorsichtig aus ihren Gräben hervor. Zwei Unteroffiziere beider Seiten legen ihre Waffen ab und kommen sich langsamen Schrittes entgegen. In der Mitte des Niemandslandes stehen sie sich gegenüber, halten inne, reichen sich die Hand.

Der Weihnachtsfrieden von 1914 ist besiegelt. Neugierig krabbeln die Soldaten aus ihren Gräben. Für ein paar Stunden tauschen Deutsche und Franzosen keine Gewehrschüsse aus, sondern Tabak, Familienfotos – und Hoffnungen. Ein paar Stunden, in denen keiner mehr weiß, warum man eigentlich aufeinander schießen wollte. Nur ein paar Stunden. Bis die Heeresleitung wieder zum Krieg zurückruft ...

An vielen Frontabschnitten ereignete sich im Jahr 1914 ein solcher Weihnachtsfrieden. Er war nie von Dauer, aber er bewies die Sehnsucht der Soldaten nach einem Ende des Krieges. Auch im darauffolgenden Jahr gab es Bemühungen auf beiden Seiten der Front, die friedliche Weihnacht zu wiederholen, doch diese Versuche wurden von den Befehlshabern zunichte gemacht. Ab 1916 hatte endgültig Kanonendonner die Klänge der Weihnachtslieder verdrängt.

Doch Frontbriefe aus dem I. Weltkrieg zeugen von der Kriegsmüdigkeit und den zwiespältigen Gefühlen, mit denen viele Männer dem sogenannten "Feind" entgegentraten. So wie im Schreiben des französischen Soldaten Pierre Vaillagou an seinen Sohn Maurice. Er verfasste es im Jahr 1915, wenige Tage bevor er in einem Krieg ums Leben kam, an dessen Sinn er wohl längst nicht mehr glaubte.

"Dies ist für Maurice. Ich werde Deine Wünsche so gut wie möglich erfüllen. Aber ob ich einen Preußenhelm mitbringe, ist nicht sicher. Es ist jetzt nicht der Augenblick, ihnen die Kopfbedeckung wegzunehmen. Es ist zu kalt (...). Und dann, ärmster Maurice, muss man auch bedenken, dass die Preußen wie wir sind. Sieh mal, wenn ein preußischer Junge seinem Vater das Gleiche wie Du schreibt, und er ihn um ein Franzosenkäppi bittet, und wenn dieser preußische Papa ein Franzosenkäppi seinem kleinen Jungen mitbrächte – und wenn dieses Käppi nun das deines Vaters wäre?
Wie denkst Du darüber?"

http://www.br-online.de/bayern2/kalenderblatt/geschichte-isabella-arcucci-gesellschaft-ID1262168613067.xml
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Percy Toplis



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BerichtGeplaatst: 24 Dec 2010 1:03    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Stom van me... Hier staat natuurlijk alles in: http://forumeerstewereldoorlog.nl/viewtopic.php?t=2710
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BerichtGeplaatst: 24 Dec 2013 12:33    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote



The Trenches at Ploegsteert, Autumn/Winter 1914


“A Very Peaceful Day”: The Somerset Light Infantry and the Christmas Truce

The Christmas Truce of 1914 has entered the common mythology of the First World War and has been well documented as a result. The 1st Battalion Somerset Light Infantry were in the front line at Ploegsteert Wood and witnessed the truce first hand.

The Christmas Truce has become the title of a series of unofficial ceasefires which happened along the Western Front in December 1914. It did not reach the whole length of the Front; in some areas the two sides mingled, whilst in others the fighting continued.

The Christmas Truce was not the first and only truce of the war, as the armies had started to entrench a ‘live and let live’ attitude had developed and on occasion fraternisation occurred. However the Christmas Truce stands out due to its longevity and the number of men involved.

The early months of the war had been characterised by movement, with both German and Allied forces trying to gain ground and advantage. However, by November this movement had stagnated and the defensive trench system was developed. In many places the two armies were so close that they could hear each other, and this at times led to conversation and the exchange of the dead.

Verder lezen:

http://somersetremembers.wordpress.com/2013/12/24/a-very-peaceful-day-the-somerset-light-infantry-and-the-christmas-truce/
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BerichtGeplaatst: 24 Dec 2013 13:46    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1lktY_pDauY

A Christmas Truce song
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And i'm never gonna cease my wandering...
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