The 1914 Truce

This passages describes a brief truce during a battle at Christmastime in World War I among the French, British, and Germans.

Lexile Level: 910L

Categories: History People & Places


During World War I, on Christmas Eve of 1914, one of the strangest events in the history of war took place. The French and the British were fighting the Germans in Belgium. The soldiers were shooting at one another from long, deep trenches. Suddenly, German soldiers began singing and putting Christmas trees lit with candles outside their trenches. Although they didn't speak German, the British and French soldiers knew the soldiers were singing Christmas songs, so they began singing too. Soldiers from both sides began climbing out of their trenches. They shook hands and made friends with each other on the field between the trenches. First, they buried the soldiers from both sides who had died. Then they gave each other food and presents. The soldiers even played a game of soccer! After a few days, their generals became angry and ordered the soldiers to go back into their trenches and shoot at each other again. The war lasted four more years, but at least for a few days, there was peace on earth.


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