[Marxism] Re: WWI Xmas Mutiny
phantasmagorias at yahoo.com
Tue Nov 29 08:20:59 MST 2005
This account makes it seem a bit less widespread and
The crucial thing to note is that distrust was a
feature of this and other truces occurring throughout
the war. The English respected a brave and resourceful
enemy but there was no love or liking. If there was no
hostility, neither was there a relaxation of the will
to win; if not that, then at least there was no
relaxation of suspicion. And it proved, above all, to
be an excellent opportunity for a safe reconnaissance.
There is no evidence that the truce extended to the
French front, and this is understandable since they
had started a major counterattack in the Champagne on
December 20th. The Germans were the invaders and were
on French soil. The memories of defeat in 1871 and the
loss of Alsace-Lorraine was too vivid in French memory
to allow any rapprochement with the hated Boche. Frank
Richards, one of the very few "other ranks" to write a
book about the war after beating odds on the order of
thousands to one by surviving all four years, reports
that the French people "were saying all manner of
nasty things about the British Army" when they "...had
heard how we spent Christmas Day;" French women spat
on British troops.
Finally, if the Christmas Truce had any effect on the
participants or the eventual course of the war, it was
negligible. At the time, it made the various staffs
apprehensive, but this was soon put in order. Guy
Chapman tells us that a year later: "The staff,
perhaps threatened by fire-eaters in London, had
forbidden all fraternization, and to ensure their
orders being carried out, commanded slow bombardment
all during December 25th."
--- Richard Menec <menecraj at shaw.ca> wrote:
> WWI Xmas Mutiny
> It was Christmas Eve 1914 and the soldiers in the
> trenches, Brits,
> Canadians, Germans and French, muddy, covered in
> blood and guts,
> coughing up bloodied mucus of poison gas, called a
> truce in the War.
> A truce that remains a mutiny on the books of the
> ruling classes and
> their military to this day.
> A new film has been made of this famous mutiny for
> and it will be
> shown to British Troops in Iraq.
> Now if they sneak in the Americans to watch this
> that just might be
> the inspiration for the American all volunteer
> working class army to
> down arms and end this war.
> So subersive is the legend of the Christmas Truce of
> 1914 that the
> French still refuse to allow their soldiers to see
> this film and
> refused to be part of the production effort.
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