Christmas On The Western Front During World War II

World-War-II-Christmas-Truce

During World War I, a ceasefire occurred for a single day on December 25, 1914. This temporary peace was referred to as the “Christmas Truce” in English but in German it is referred to as “Weihnachtsfrieden” and in French it is referred to as “Treve de Noël”. The Christmas truce was a widespread but unofficial ceasefire along the European Western Front. In the week leading up to the Christmas, French, German, and British soldiers crossed trenches to exchange small gifts and spend time talking and drinking alcohol. While initiating the truce, Axis soldiers called out to the Allied infantry by loudly stating “you no shoot, we no shoot”. In some areas, soldiers from both sides ventured into no man’s land on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day to mingle, exchange food, and give and receive small souvenirs. Joint burial ceremonies and prisoner swaps occurred, and many meetings ended in the singing of Christmas carols. Soldiers played games of football with one another, providing one of the most memorable images of the truce which was taken during a break out game. Peaceful behavior however was not ubiquitous as fighting continued in some areas, while in others the sides settled on no more than arrangements to recover the bodies of soldiers who had recently died in combat

The Ancient Battle of Troy 

Trojan-War

The battle of Troy is suspected to have occurred in modern day Turkey as Troy is considered is by archeologists and scholars to have been a real citadel, and not just an epic iliad of the ancient Greek poet Homer. The Trojan economy was based upon trade, specifically horses and horse breeding which allowed for wealth and military prowess within the walls of Troy, as horses were rarely seen elsewhere in the ancient world. Troy had a large ditch cut around the entire city, similar to a moat but without water. Large fences were placed behind this trench and enormous city walls were erected with only 3 entry points for the entire stronghold. Food stockpiles allowed the Trojans to hold out for longer periods than what would typically have been possible and amphorae were buried all over the Troy, up to the neck of the container, with a rock placed on top to seal it off. The Trojans, as was custom with most ancient people, would not bury their dead within the perimeter of the city unless under significant stress. Militarily speaking, in order to seize a target by assault, a soldier ratio of 3:1 is required but the Greeks did not have this advantage because the Trojan’s and Greek’s were matched evenly in terms of troops. This lack of superiority on either side permitted the Trojan war to last 9 years. The Trojans built their outer walls on a 20 degree slant to protect themselves from siege towers which were essentially mobile ladders with platforms to shoot down from. Troy’s exterior stone walls were 6 meters high with an additional height of 4 meters being added by mud-brick structures which crowned the walls. The Trojan Horse which invaded Troy was most likely was 13′ tall and less than 7′ wide, holding 30 – 40 men. Once Troy was successfully invaded, it was sacked, it’s citizens were pillaged and slaughtered, and its royal family raped and murdered. Even children were not immune to the scourge of this bloody battle as Homer’s iliad speaks of children being thrown to their death from great heights