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1914 Christmas Eve Truce
World War I was only months old on Christmas Eve 1914 when an extraordinary unofficial truce occurred in many places along the Western Front. ‘We were all moved and felt quite melancholy,’ wrote one German soldier, ‘each of us taken up with his own thoughts of home.’ German and English troops, often less than one hundred yards from each other, set aside warfare to trade Christmas greetings and sing familiar carols in two languages. The truce, probably observed by two-thirds of the British and German troops, ended with the holiday, but reasserted the basic decency of ordinary men like these British and German soldiers caught up in war.