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The Christmas TruceMyth, Memory, and the First World War$
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Terri Blom Crocker

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780813166155

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813166155.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM KENTUCKY SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.kentucky.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The University Press of Kentucky, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in KSO for personal use.date: 16 June 2021

“Absolute Hell”

“Absolute Hell”

The Western Front in 1914

(p.21) 2 “Absolute Hell”
The Christmas Truce

Terri Blom Crocker

University Press of Kentucky

This chapter sets the scene for the Christmas truce by examining the letters British soldiers wrote home during the first winter of the war, which included forthright descriptions of the horrors of the trenches, the respect they had for the German soldiers, and occasional friendly relations with their enemies. Letters that were printed in the British newspapers containing this information conditioned the public to accept a reality about the front lines that deviated from the official reports. The frankness with which the British soldiers wrote home during this time anticipates how they would report the truce, and the way it would be received by the home front.

Keywords:   First World War, Soldiers, Trenches, Western Front, Newspapers, Soldiers’ correspondence

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