Were Allied soldiers supposed to go past their trench lines after the Armistice went into effect?

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1 Answer
Feb 23, 2018

See below


At 11am on the 11th November 1918 all hostilities were supposed to cease, therefore all attacks were to be halted at that time - there are no records of any organised attacks after that time, there are a few references to some scattered interaction between opposing troops (one example I have heard is that a German soldier climbed out of the Trench, stood on the edge facing the British lines, bowed deeply and turned and walked away, I dont thing anyone can categorically prove it did or did not happen though)
But in the main both sides were very cautious for the few hours of the cease fire just in case it broke down so remained out of sight in cover

I don't think there are any statistics regarding the volume of fire in the hours preceding the cease fire, but as attacks (particularly by the US Army) were made even on the morning of the 11th Artillery would certainly have been used leading up to those attacks

The mood in the trenches would of course varied vastly between nationalities and experience of the troops, but if you read some of the memoirs there seems to have been just simple relief that it was over and they had survived, generally troops were simply too weary to celebrate in any great way and probably just wanted to sleep! Though there are "stirring" patriotic photos of cheering troops - No doubt some had the energy to celebrate (or were ordered to for the camera!) though I suspect this was more common the the rear areas than at the actual front

The allied cities witnessed mass celebrations at the news of Victory - a collection of period photos can be seen here:

The meaning of the sentence : The abrupt change for a hellish environment where death could came at any time to peace was too sudden a change, they knew and understood the hell of trench warfare, peace was a something from a forgotten time, almost a different life - no one can adapt so much so quickly