On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month…
The Armistice was signed to end ‘the war of all wars’.
It marked a victory for the Allies and a complete defeat for Germany, although not formally a surrender. The actual terms, largely written by French Marshal and Supreme Commander of the Allied Armies Ferdinand Foch, included the cessation of hostilities, the withdrawal of German troops to behind their own borders, the preservation of infrastructure, the exchange of prisoners, a promise of reparations, the disposition of German warships and submarines, and conditions for prolonging or terminating the armistice.
Interestingly, there was NO American representative at the official signing onboard Marshal Foch’s private car.
It took six months of negotiations at the Paris Peace Conference to conclude the peace treaty, the Treaty of Versailles.
Henry Gunther (American) is acknowledged as the last casualty of WWI, apparently despondent over a demotion, he charged the Germans and was killed less than a minute before the armistice too effect.
Sadly, England, France and Germany lost almost an entire generation of males in the war. And didn’t learn the lesson, starting WWII in September 1939, thanks to Corporal Adolf Hitler…
Remember those in your families that have served or are serving now. Thank a veteran if you get the chance.