Fascinating facts about the Armistice

South African troops in a support trench on the Western Front, Fresenberg Ridge, September 22, 1917.

Among its 34 clauses, the armistice contained the following major points 

Western Front
• Termination of hostilities on the Western Front, on land and in the air, within six hours of signature.
• Immediate evacuation of France, Belgium, Luxembourg, and Alsace-Lorraine within 15 days.
• Sick and wounded may be left for Allies to care for.
• Immediate repatriation of all inhabitants of those four territories in German hands.
• Surrender of materiel: 5 000 artillery pieces, 25 000 machine guns, 3 000 minenwerfers, 1 700 aircraft (including all night bombers), 5 000 railway locomotives, 150 000 railcars and 5,000 road trucks.
• Evacuation of territory on the west side of the Rhine, plus 30-kilometre-radius bridgeheads of the east side of the Rhine at the cities of Mainz, Koblenz, and Cologne within 31 days.
• Vacated territory to be occupied by Allied and US troops, maintained at Germany’s expense.
• No removal or destruction of civilian goods or inhabitants in evacuated territories and all military materiel and premises to be left intact.
• All minefields on land and sea to be identified.
• All means of communication (roads, railways, canals, bridges, telegraphs, telephones) to be left intact, as well as everything needed for agriculture and industry.

Treaty brings end to bloodiest war in history

Eastern and African Fronts 
• Immediate withdrawal of all German troops in Romania and in what were the Ottoman Empire, the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the Russian Empire back to German territory as it was on 1 August 1914, although tacit support was given to the pro-German West Russian Volunteer Army under the guise of combating the Bolsheviks. The Allies to have access to these countries.
• Renunciation of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk with Russia and of the Treaty of Bucharest with Romania.
• Evacuation of German forces in Africa.

Honouring war dead was legendary Lowvelder’s idea

At sea 
• Immediate cessation of all hostilities at sea and the surrender intact of all German submarines within 14 days.
• Listed German surface vessels to be interned within 7 days and the rest disarmed.
• Free access to German waters for Allied ships and for those of the Netherlands, Norway, Denmark and Sweden.
• The naval blockade of Germany to continue.
• Immediate evacuation of all Black Sea ports and handover of all captured Russian vessels.

General 
• Immediate release of all Allied prisoners of war and interned civilians, without reciprocity.
• Pending a financial settlement, surrender of assets looted from Belgium, Romania and Russia.

Source: Wikipedia

• Armistice Day, Remembrance Day or Veterans’ Day is commemorated in many countries involved in World War I on November 11 every year or on the Sunday nearest to it (or, as is becoming more common, on both days). Several countries remember the people lost during the First World War and other wars by holding a two-minute silence at 11:00 on that day.
• The first official observance of Armistice Day took place on November 11, 1919 at Buckingham Palace in London, England.
• Norway, Denmark, and the Netherlands do not commemorate Armistice Day, as they remained neutral during World War I.
• In France, Armistice Day is a proclaimed public holiday, resulting in the closure of many businesses.
• The Armistice was an agreement signed by representatives of France, Great Britain and Germany. It was an agreement to end fighting as a prelude to peace negotiations. The Treaty of Versailles signed six months later would act as the peace treaty between the nations.
• In 1940, another armistice was signed in the same railway carriage in the Forest of Compiègne. This time it was Germany forcing France to sign an agreement to end fighting against them in World War Two, which was essentially a French surrender. To add to the deliberate humiliation, Adolf Hitler sat in the same seat that Ferdinand Foch sat in in 1918. The carriage was taken and exhibited in Germany, but was destroyed in 1945.
• If Germany broke any of the terms of the Armistice, such as not evacuating areas they were ordered to evacuate, not handing over weapons or prisoners of war in the timescales given or causing damage to any individual or their property, fighting would begin again with 48 hours notice.
• Germany was ordered to provide information about the location of mines or traps they had placed and reveal what other things they had deliberately destroyed or caused damage to (such as polluting or poisoning springs or wells).
• By signing The Armistice and the Treaty of Versailles, Germany were made to accept the blame for the First World War and would have to pay reparations for the damage caused, estimated to total about £22 billion (R411 billion in current money). It was only in 2010 that Germany paid off its war debt, with a final payment of £59 million (R1 billion).
• Whereas Germany viewed the terms of the Armistice, and the Treaty of Versailles signed the following year, as too harsh, the French saw it as too lenient.

Sources: Toptenfacts.co.uk / softschools.com

 

The horrors of Flanders was ended with the signing of the Armistice.

  AUTHOR
Lowvelder

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