The Christmas Truce

Henceforth, the enemy armies faced each other along a 700-kilometre front from the North Sea to the Swiss border. This position remained the same until the summer of 1918. But on the first Christmas Eve of the war, the lines of trenches were so close to each other that the soldiers on one side could hear those opposite singing carols, and could smell their Christmas dinners. Waving white flags, some soldiers went to fraternize with their enemy counterparts. The year ended as the Germans successfully pushed westward in French territory and steamrolled over the Russian resistance in the east. Kaiser Wilhelm II had reason to be confident for 1915. His adversaries, despite their heroic courage, lacked heavy artillery, machine guns, and shells. They seemed to have been overcome by the incomparable German organization.