Act of Chivalry, Christmas Truce of 1914

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The First World War was known for the inhumane nature of trench warfare and chemical gases. Political figure heads and military officers urged their men to hold strong and fight through the brutal winter conditions. After being living in the trenches for nearly half a year, with constant shells exploding nearby and rounds flying just over head, most men are overcome with the barbaric nature of war, losing all sense of reality. However, there was one event that defied the previous routine enemy interaction. The Christmas Truce of 1914 was one of the greatest acts of chivalry in the last century. The first year of the ‘Great War’, 1914, is reported to be the most deadly of the almost five year period. . Approximately 800,000 men were lost on both Allied and German sides. Towards the end of 1914, the German forces were advancing quickly. Easily taking the smaller countries to their south and making their way toward France. The Allied forces refused to allow the Germans to take France as easily as they had the others. Engaging the tactic of trench warfare, the two forces had come to a deadlock in advancement. These muddy trenches were dug into the ground in a strategic system, spanning nearly five hundred miles from the North Sea to the Swiss border (Woodard 18). To say living conditions in these trenches were less than ideal would be an understatement. The soldiers lived in these trenches for months at a time. The frequent rain and snow turned the place into a mud pit. Men
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