Remembering November 11, 1918

In 1918, at the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month, the guns were supposed to fall silent across the European continent and the "War to end all wars" was over. Did they? The armistice was signed at 5:10 AM local time in the personal rail car of Marshal Foch. And while the news flashed to every capital in Europe by 5:40, most of the soldiers on the front lines began the day as if it were just another day of combat. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) states that their records show that 863 Commonwealth soldiers died on November 11th 1918 - though this figure also includes those who died on that day but of wounds received prior to November 11th. In particular, the Americans took heavy casualties on the last day of the war. This was because their commander, General John Pershing, believed that the Germans had to be severely defeated at a military level to effectively 'teach them a lesson'. Pershing saw the terms of the Armistice as being soft on the Germans....(Read Full Post)