Malcolm & Dan Joe (WW1)

"Dan-Joe & Malcolm (WW1)" -- TOC

Ch. 17 - "The Armistice"

As we have now seen, Dan-Joe's war was over in June of 1918. By November, it was also over for his fellows. Let us bring matters up to the end of World War One.

The events of July were little different from those for the first part of the war. In August, the Allies went on the offensive in what has come to be known as the Battle of Amiens. It was the first outright and irreversible defeat that the Germans had suffered in four years of fighting. In September, the Americans finally launched, their offensive, their first one; overall, though, the war for the Americans was a short war.94

On September 28th, the German general, Ludendorff, recommended that his leaders call for an armistice. "The position in the west was penetrated, the army would not fight, the civilian population had lost heart, the politicians wanted peace. ... The following day [September 27th, 1918] British and French forces assaulted the main Hindenburg line, firing a barrage of nearly a million shells in twenty-four hours. This finally broke Ludendorff's spirit. On 29 September he informed the Kaiser that there was now no prospect of winning the war. If catastrophe was to be averted, an armistice must be concluded as quickly as possible."95 The next day things were worse for the Germans, when the Allied Forces broke through the Hindenburg Line. Everybody, by then, knew the end was near.

On October 31st, German's principal allies fell out. The Hungarian government terminated its union with Austria, officially dissolving the Austro-Hungarian empire. Two days later, on November 2nd, negotiations were underway for an armistice. On the 9th, Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany abdicated as head of government. On November 11th, 1918, World War One came to an end when German leaders sign an armistice agreement with those of the Allies. The signing was held early morning in Marshal Foch’s railroad car in Compiègne Forest in France. It became official on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. The guns on the western front fell silent.96

NEXT [Chapter 18, "Conclusion"]


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Peter Landry