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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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“No War Today”

“No War Today”

The Christmas Truce as Reported in Official War Diaries and Regimental Histories

Chapter:
(p.63) 4 “No War Today”
Source:
The Christmas Truce
Author(s):

Terri Blom Crocker

Publisher:
University Press of Kentucky
DOI:10.5810/kentucky/9780813166155.003.0004

Although the myths about the truce insist that military leadership was horrified by it and punished the junior officers involved, the official war diaries kept by each regiment, brigade, and division instead demonstrate that the frontline officers involved in truces generally had no compunction about including them in their units’ official records. Two-thirds of the fifty-five regiments involved in the truce reported it in their war diaries in some form, from simple one-sentence summaries to multipage narratives, contradicting the conventional view that the truce was covered up by those in the lines for fear of retribution from military headquarters. Additionally, reports of the truce found their way into both regimental histories and the British official history of the war, demonstrating that no authority was particularly bothered by the event.

Keywords:   Christmas truce, Western Front, Regimental history, Battalion diary

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