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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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“A Great Day with Our Enemies”

“A Great Day with Our Enemies”

The Christmas Truce

(p.43) 3 “A Great Day with Our Enemies”
The Christmas Truce

Terri Blom Crocker

University Press of Kentucky

In this chapter, the popular narrative of the truce is challenged by the letters and diaries of the soldiers involved. Although there were soldiers who joined in truces that mirror the conventional view of the cease-fire—including fraternization and even the occasional football match—an examination of the contemporary documents demonstrates that there were many types of truces. Some were held only to bury the dead, whereas others were cease-fires with no fraternization. There were soldiers who refused to participate out of mistrust of the Germans, and others who resented the enemy more after meeting with them. This chapter demonstrates that the truce was a much more nuanced and complex event than the current narrative allows.

Keywords:   Christmas truce, Fraternization, Football, Western Front, Burial, Letters and diaries

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