Signing the Armistice

On November 8th 1918, the German delegation crossed the frontlines to negotiate an armistice to end the First World War. Instead of directly driving them to where the Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces, Marshal Ferdinand Foch was waiting, the French gave them a 10-hour tour of the ruined countryside. The talk took three days and the terms from the United States included the abdication of Kaiser Wilhelm II. This was agreed and Wilhem abdicated on Novemeber 10th while Germany slowly descended into riots and unrest.

Foch appeared only twice in the three days of negotiations: on the first day, to ask the German delegation what they wanted, and on the last day, to see to the signatures. The armistice was formally signed in Foch’s carriage on 11 November. Above is the only picture of the signing ceremony. The armistice initially ran for 30 days but was regularly renewed until the formal peace treaty was signed at Versailles the following year. Before the Treaty of Verseilles, the Allies kept their armies ready to begin hostilities back again within 48 hours.

In 1940, Hitler exacted revenge by forcing the French to sign an armistice in the same railway carriage. The Nazis destroyed the building housing it, the Clairiere de l’Armistice and took the carriage to Berlin. With the Allied advance into Germany, the carriage was removed to Ohrdruf, where it was destroyed.

More information about armistice, see here.

3 thoughts on “Signing the Armistice

  1. Hey, I like your choice of photos and the accompanying text. I’ll scratch my head about some photos I might suggest but honestly you’re doing a great job, doubt I could add much.

  2. Great article. Would you be able to tell me who exactly signed the armistice for GERMANY? I know they were not invited to the conference because they were defeated, but who signed it in the carriage on the 11th of November. I’m really stuck. Thanks (:

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