The Bringer of Peace

 

Something for the weekend.  The hundredth anniversary of the armistice ending World War seems to call for Holst’s Venus:  The Bringer of Peace.

 

Advertisements
Published in: on November 17, 2018 at 5:30 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: ,

November 11, 1918: Captain Truman Writes to Bess

 

Dear Bess:
November 11, 1918

I knew Uncle Samuel was holding out on me when your letter came not with Boxley’s and Brelsford’s. Two came this morning and I am of course very happy. We are all wondering what the Hun is going to do about Marshal Foch’s proposition to him. We don’t care what he does. He’s licked either way he goes. For my part I’d as soon be provost marshal of Cologne or Metz or Munich or Berlin as have any other job I know of now. It is a shame we can’t go in and devastate Germany and cut off a few of the Dutch kids’ hands and feet and scalp a few of their old men but I guess it will be better to make them work for France and Belgium for fifty years.

Their time for acceptance will be up in thirty minutes. There is a great big 155 Battery right behind me across the road that seems to want to get rid of all of its ammunition before the time is up. It has been banging away almost as fast as a 75 Battery for the last two hours. Every time one of the guns goes off it shakes my house like an earthquake.

I just got official notice that hostilities would cease at eleven o’clock. Every one is about to have a fit. I fired 164 rounds at him before he quit this morning anyway. It seems that everyone was just about to blow up wondering if Heinie would come in. I knew that Germany could not stand the gaff. For all their preparedness and swashbuckling talk they cannot stand adversity. France was whipped for four years and never gave up and one good licking suffices for Germany. What pleases me most is the fact that I was lucky enough to take a Battery through the last drive. The Battery has shot something over ten thousand rounds at the Hun and I am sure they had a slight effect.

I am returning the enclosure from the Kansas City Post. It is a good thing I didn’t censor Bill’s letter or I probably would have thrown it out. It was evidently not quoted correctly even as it is. He was promoted for bravery by me but he was not mentioned in orders. Of course the remark about his captain is pleasing but there are no vacant sergeancies now so he won’t get promoted for that.

It is pleasant also to hear that Mrs. Wells has adopted me as a real nephew and I shall certainly be more than pleased to call her Auntie Maud and I hope it won’t be long before I can do it.

You evidently did some very excellent work as a Liberty bond saleswoman because I saw in The Stars and Stripes where some twenty-two million people bought them and that they were oversubscribed by $1 billion, which is some stunt for you to have helped pull off. I know that it had as much to do with breaking the German morale as our cannon shots had and we owe you as much for an early homecoming as we do the fighters.

Here’s hoping to see you soon.

Yours always,

Harry

Published in: on November 16, 2018 at 5:30 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , ,

Requiescat In Pace: Stan Lee

( I originally posted this at The American Catholic and I thought the comic mavens of Almost Chosen People might be interested in it.)

Stanley Martin Lieber, better known as Stan Lee, passed away today at age 95.  A World War II veteran, Lee  worked for virtually his entire adult life, except for his time in the Army, for Timely Comics, which became Atlas Comics and, by the early sixties, Marvel Comics.  After DC comics, the colossus of the comic book world at the time, met great success with its revival of superheroes in the mid fifties, Lee followed suit in the early sixties, but with a twist.  His superheroes had human frailties and wrestled with the type of problems that normal people deal with.  In short, he made superheroes more realistic.  He understood that such realism made his heroes and heroines more heroic, not less.  His strategy worked, and Marvel unseated DC, which was rather like Avis beating Hertz.  Lee assiduously also developed a loyal fan base.

For the past few decades Lee has not been involved in the operations of Marvel Comics, contenting himself with being the public face of the company and with humorous cameos in the numerous films based on Marvel comic book characters.  His wife of 69 years died last year, and recent stories about him have focused on allegations that his daughter, or others, have been attempting to take advantage of him, the type of very sad conflicts that often seem to surround the very elderly with money. Unlike in comic books, happy endings are not assured in real life.

However, none of this can diminish the entertainment and inspiration that Mr. Lee gave to hundreds of millions over the years, including me during my boyhood.  Excelsior Mr. Lee, and may this quotation now stand you in good stead:

“There is only one who is all powerful, and his greatest weapon is love.”
Published in: on November 15, 2018 at 5:30 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , ,

November 10, 1923: Woodrow Wilson Armistice Day Address

 

The things you find on the internet.  A radio address by former President Woodrow Wilson, just over a little more than two months before his death, on November 10, 1923.  This was the first remote, live, national broadcast, and was considered to be an example of the use of cutting edge technology at the time.  For Wilson, a man born prior to the Civil War, it must have seemed to sum up the technological marvels he had been witness to during his life.  The substance of the speech is rather predictable, Wilson deploring the rejection of the League of Nations by the US.  Here is the text of the brief address:

 

 

The anniversary of Armistice Day should stir us to great exaltation of spirit because of the proud recollection that it was our day, a day above those early days of that never-to-be forgotten November which lifted the world to the high levels of vision and achievement upon which the great war for democracy and right was fought and won; although the stimulating memories of that happy time of triumph are forever marred and embittered for us by the shameful fact that when the victory was won, be it remembered–chiefly by the indomitable spirit and ungrudging sacrifices of our incomparable soldiers–we turned our backs on upon our associates and refused to bear any responsible part in the administration of peace, or the firm and permanent establishment of the results of the war–won at so terrible a cost of life and treasure–and withdrew into a sullen and selfish isolation which is deeply ignoble because manifestly cowardly and dishonorable.

 This must always be a source of deep mortification to us and we shall inevitably be forced by the moral obligations of freedom and honor to retrieve that fatal error and assume once more the role of courage, self-respect and helpfulness which every true American must wish to regard as our natural part in the affairs of the world.

 That we should have thus done a great wrong to civilization at one of the most critical turning points in the history of the world is the more to be deplored because every anxious year that has followed has made the exceeding need for such services as we might have rendered more and more evident and more and more pressing, as demoralizing circumstances which we might have controlled have gone from bad to worse.

 And now, as if to furnish as sort of sinister climax, France and Italy between them have made waste paper of the Treaty of Versailles and the whole field of international relationship is in perilous confusion.

 The affairs of the world can be set straight only by the firmest and most determined exhibition of the will to lead and make the right prevail.

 Happily, the present situation in the world of affairs affords us the opportunity to retrieve the past and to render mankind the inestimable service of proving that there is at least one great and powerful nation which can turn away from programs of self­interest and devote itself to practicing and establishing the highest ideals of disinterested service and the consistent maintenance of exalted standards of conscience and of right.

 The only way in which we can worthily give proof of our appreciation of the high significance of Armistice Day is by resolving to put self-interest away and once more formulate and act on the highest ideals and purposes of international policy.

 Thus, and only thus, can we return to the true traditions of America.

Published in: on November 14, 2018 at 5:30 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , ,

Theodore Roosevelt: Remember Them

 

The men who have died of pneumonia or fever in the hospitals, the men who have been killed in accidents on the airplane training fields are as much heroes as those who were killed at the front, and their shining souls shall hereafter light up all to a clearer and greater view of the duties of life. The war is over now. The time of frightful losses among the men at the front and of heartbreaking anxiety for their mothers and wives, their sisters and sweet hearts at home has passed. No great triumph is ever won save by the payment of the necessary cost. All of us who have stayed at home and all the others who have returned safe will, as long as life shall last, think of the men who died as having purchased for us and for our children’s children, as long as this country shall last, a heritage so precious that even their precious blood was not too great a price to pay. Whether they fell in battle or how they died matters not at all, and it matters not what they were doing as long as, high of soul, they were doing their duty with all the strength and fervor of their natures. The mother or the wife whose son or husband has died, whether in battle or by fever or in the accident inevitable in hurriedly preparing a modern army for war, must never feel that the sacrifice has been laid “on a cold altar.” There is no gradation of honor among these gallant men and no essential gradation of service. They all died that we might live; our debt is to all of them, and we can pay it even personally only by striving so to live as to bring a little nearer the day when justice and mercy shall rule in our own homes and among the nations of the world.

Theodore Roosevelt, November 13, 1918

Published in: on November 13, 2018 at 5:30 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , ,

Why Do We Honor Veterans?

 

When You Go Home, Tell Them Of Us And Say, For Their Tomorrow, We Gave Our Today 

Inscription on the memorial to the dead of the British 2nd Division at Kohima

 

Sometimes simple questions can help illuminate great truths.   Why do we honor veterans?

 

One veteran of World War I, CS Lewis, perhaps can help us understand why we honor veterans.  Lewis served on the Western Front as a Second Lieutenant in 1917-1918 until he was  wounded on April 15, 1918.  Lewis, the future Oxford Don, was an unlikely soldier and he wrote about his experiences in the War with humorous self-deprecation.  However, he had immense respect for those he served with, especially the enlisted men under his command, for their good humor and courage under the most appalling circumstances.  His war experiences had a vast impact on Lewis, as can be seen in his Screwtape letters, where Lewis writes about war.

In the fifth letter Screwtape admonishes junior tempter Wormword not to allow the sight of human suffering in war to allow him to believe that the war makes Wormword’s task any easier.

For it has certain tendencies inherent in it which are, in themselves, by no means in our favour. We may hope for a good deal of cruelty and unchastity. But, if we are not careful, we shall see thousands turning in this tribulation to the Enemy, while tens of thousands who do not go so far as that will nevertheless have their attention diverted from themselves to values and causes which they believe to be higher than the self. I know that the Enemy disapproves many of these causes. But that is where He is so unfair. He often makes prizes of humans who have given their lives for causes He thinks bad on the monstrously sophistical ground that the humans thought them good and were following the best they knew.

Most of us dread death.  Members of the military in war time have to set aside their fear for causes greater than themselves.  It brings to the fore that very precious virtue:  courage.

We have made men proud of most vices, but not of cowardice. Whenever we have almost succeeded in doing so, the Enemy permits a war or an earthquake or some other calamity, and at once courage becomes so obviously lovely and important even in human eyes that all our work is undone, and there is still at least one vice of which they feel genuine shame. The danger of inducing cowardice in our patients, therefore, is lest we produce real self-knowledge and self-loathing with consequent repentance and humility. And in fact, in the last war, thousands of humans, by discovering their own cowardice, discovered the whole moral world for the first time. In peace we can make many of them ignore good and evil entirely; in danger, the issue is forced upon them in a guise to which even we cannot blind them. There is here a cruel dilemma before us. If we promoted justice and charity among men, we should be playing directly into the Enemy’s hands; but if we guide them to the opposite behaviour, this sooner or later produces (for He permits it to produce) a war or a revolution, and the undisguisable issue of cowardice or courage awakes thousands of men from moral stupor.

Lewis theorizes that the virtue of courage is perhaps why God created the world as dangerous as it is:

This, indeed, is probably one of the Enemy’s motives for creating a dangerous world—a world in which moral issues really come to the point. He sees as well as you do that courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point, which means, at the point of highest reality. A chastity or honesty, or mercy, which yields to danger will be chaste or honest or merciful only on conditions. Pilate was merciful till it became risky.

A gentleman I know was a Marine during the battle for Hue in 1968.  He told me that he was absolutely terrified throughout, often vomiting from fear, and regarded himself as a coward even though he was decorated for bravery after the battle.  Then he told me he read this passage in the Screwtape letters and truly understood courage for the first time:

I sometimes wonder whether you think you have been sent into the world for your own amusement. I gather, not from your miserably inadequate report but from that of the Infernal Police, that the patient’s behaviour during the first raid has been the worst possible. He has been very frightened and thinks himself a great coward and therefore feels no pride; but he has done everything his duty demanded and perhaps a bit more.

We honor veterans because for a time in their lives they risked, or potentially risked, their lives for us.  Not all veterans of course are heroes, old news for most veterans, and most veterans who serve never see combat, but the potential risk was always there during their service.  Most veterans at that point in their life personified the virtue of courage, the ability of we mere mortals to rise above our fears and terrors, and that always deserves to be honored.

Published in: on November 12, 2018 at 5:30 am  Comments (2)  
Tags: , ,

November 11, 1918: Captain Truman Writes to Bess

 

Dear Bess:
November 11, 1918

I knew Uncle Samuel was holding out on me when your letter came not with Boxley’s and Brelsford’s. Two came this morning and I am of course very happy. We are all wondering what the Hun is going to do about Marshal Foch’s proposition to him. We don’t care what he does. He’s licked either way he goes. For my part I’d as soon be provost marshal of Cologne or Metz or Munich or Berlin as have any other job I know of now. It is a shame we can’t go in and devastate Germany and cut off a few of the Dutch kids’ hands and feet and scalp a few of their old men but I guess it will be better to make them work for France and Belgium for fifty years.

Their time for acceptance will be up in thirty minutes. There is a great big 155 Battery right behind me across the road that seems to want to get rid of all of its ammunition before the time is up. It has been banging away almost as fast as a 75 Battery for the last two hours. Every time one of the guns goes off it shakes my house like an earthquake.

I just got official notice that hostilities would cease at eleven o’clock. Every one is about to have a fit. I fired 164 rounds at him before he quit this morning anyway. It seems that everyone was just about to blow up wondering if Heinie would come in. I knew that Germany could not stand the gaff. For all their preparedness and swashbuckling talk they cannot stand adversity. France was whipped for four years and never gave up and one good licking suffices for Germany. What pleases me most is the fact that I was lucky enough to take a Battery through the last drive. The Battery has shot something over ten thousand rounds at the Hun and I am sure they had a slight effect.

I am returning the enclosure from the Kansas City Post. It is a good thing I didn’t censor Bill’s letter or I probably would have thrown it out. It was evidently not quoted correctly even as it is. He was promoted for bravery by me but he was not mentioned in orders. Of course the remark about his captain is pleasing but there are no vacant sergeancies now so he won’t get promoted for that.

It is pleasant also to hear that Mrs. Wells has adopted me as a real nephew and I shall certainly be more than pleased to call her Auntie Maud and I hope it won’t be long before I can do it.

You evidently did some very excellent work as a Liberty bond saleswoman because I saw in The Stars and Stripes where some twenty-two million people bought them and that they were oversubscribed by $1 billion, which is some stunt for you to have helped pull off. I know that it had as much to do with breaking the German morale as our cannon shots had and we owe you as much for an early homecoming as we do the fighters.

Here’s hoping to see you soon.

Yours always,

Harry

Published in: on November 11, 2018 at 5:30 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , ,

Uber Alles?

Something for the weekend.  The day after the date which commemorates the abdication of Kaiser Wilhelm II and the Fall of the Berlin Wall the song could only be Das Lied der Deutschen, the national anthem of Germany since 1922.  A magnificent people, the Germans have not infrequently found themselves in the forefront of events disastrous for the West and for them. 

 

 

 

Once all the Germans were warlike and mean,
But that couldn’t happen again.
We taught them a lesson in 1918
And they’ve hardly bothered us since then.

Tom Lehrer, The MLF Lullaby

On the other hand, there is much to say in favor of a people whose national anthem celebrates wine, women and song!

Although the verse that celebrates these magnificent aspects of life, and the first verse with uber alles, are not part of the official national anthem that contains only the third verse.

1. Germany, Germany above all
Above everything in the world
When, always, for protection and defense
Brothers stand together.
From the Maas to the Memel
From the Etsch to the Belt,
Germany, Germany above all
Above all in the world.

2. German women, German fidelity,
German wine and German song,
Shall retain, throughout the world,
Their old respected fame,
To inspire us to noble deeds
For the length of our lives.
German women, German fidelity,
German wine and German song.

3. Unity and right and freedom
For the German Fatherland;
Let us all strive to this goal
Brotherly, with heart and hand.
Unity and rights and freedom
Are the pledge of fortune grand.
Prosper in this fortune’s glory,
Prosper German fatherland.

 

 

 

 

Published in: on November 10, 2018 at 3:25 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , ,

November 9, 1918: Abdication of Kaiser Wilhelm II

 

You [recruits] have sworn loyalty to me. You have only one enemy and that is my enemy. In the present social confusion it may come about that I order you to shoot down your own relatives, brothers or parents but even then you must follow my orders without a murmur.

Kaiser Wilhem II, November 23, 1891

Ah, Kaiser Bill.  In World War I he became a monstrous figure in Allied propaganda, a bloodthirsty ghoul thirsting for world conquest.  The reality was rather different.  This grandson of Queen Victoria, who spoke English fluently with only a trace of an accent, fancied himself an autocrat of supreme genius to be feared and obeyed.  Actually he was a weak-willed man of limited intelligence, easily dominated by those around him if they were craftier than him, which was not a high bar to clear.  His tendency to give blood curdling, tough guy utterances, was the dismay of ever German government during his reign.  Otto von Bismarck, the Iron Chancellor who made the German Empire, and who the young Wilhelm II dismissed, had the measure of his sovereign, who he regarded as a blundering young idiot who would lead Germany to ruin.  That was an accurate assessment.  The Kaiser was the worst type of fool, one who regarded himself as a genius and had no clue as to his limitations.  During World War I the Kaiser became a sad, pathetic figure, as the Army increasingly ran Germany, paying only lip service to him as Supreme War Lord.  Lusting for conflict throughout his reign, he was dismayed as millions of German youth died in the war that he so long had wished for.  In his long years of exile in Holland, he died in 1941, he continually blamed the Jews and the English for his downfall, and never demonstrated any insight at all as to the dismal role he played in propelling Germany down the path that led to Hitler, a man who had nothing but contempt for the man in whose Army he had served.

Published in: on November 9, 2018 at 6:05 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , ,

Armistice Terms

 

 

The Armistice was negotiated over a period of two days, November 8-9, 1918.  The term negotiate is not actually accurate.  The Allies through Marshal Foch dictated the terms to be accepted or not by the Germans.  The Germans won a few minor points, but basically the Armistice is an Allied product with virtually no input from the defeated Germans.  Here are the terms of the Armistice:

 

I. Military Clauses on Western Front

One – Cessation of operations by land and in the air six hours after the signature of the armistice.

Two – Immediate evacuation of invaded countries: Belgium, France, Alsace-Lorraine, Luxemburg, so ordered as to be completed within fourteen days from the signature of the armistice.  German troops which have not left the above-mentioned territories within the period fixed will become prisoners of war.  Occupation by the allied and United States forces jointly will keep pace with evacuation in these areas.  All movements of evacuation and occupation will be regulated in accordance with a note annexed to the stated terms.

Three – Reparation beginning at once to be completed within fifteen days of all the inhabitants of the countries above enumerated (including hostages, persons under trial or convicted).

Four – Surrender in good condition by the German armies of the following war material: Five thousand guns (2,500 heavy, and 2,500 field), 25,000 machine guns, 3,000 minenwerfer, 1,700 airplanes (fighters, bombers – firstly, all of the D 7’S and all the night bombing machines).  The above to be delivered in situ to the allied and United States troops in accordance with the detailed conditions laid down in the note (annexure No. 1) drawn up at the moment of the signing of the armistice.

Five – Evacuation by the German armies of the countries on the left bank of the Rhine.  The countries on the left bank of the Rhine shall be administered by the local troops of occupation.  The occupation of these territories will be carried out by allied and United States garrisons holding the principal crossings of the Rhine (Mayence, Coblenz, Cologne), together with the bridgeheads at these points of a thirty-kilometre radius on the right bank and by garrisons similarly holding the strategic points of the regions.  A neutral zone shall be reserved on the right bank of the Rhine between the stream and a line drawn parallel to the bridgeheads and to the stream and at a distance of ten kilometres, from the frontier of Holland up to the frontier of Switzerland.  The evacuation by the enemy of the Rhine-lands (left and right bank) shall be so ordered as to be completed within a further period of sixteen days, in all, thirty-one days after the signing of the armistice.  All the movements of evacuation or occupation are regulated by the note (annexure No. 1) drawn up at the moment of the signing of the armistice.

Six – In all territories evacuated by the enemy there shall be no evacuation of inhabitants; no damage or harm shall be done to the persons or property of the inhabitants.  No person shall be prosecuted for offences of participation in war measures prior to the signing of the armistice.  No destruction of any kind shall be committed.  Military establishments of all kinds shall be delivered intact, as well as military stores of food, munitions, and equipment, not removed during the time fixed for evacuation.  Stores of food of all kinds for the civil population, cattle, etc., shall be left in situ.  Industrial establishments shall not be impaired in any way and their personnel shall not be removed.

Seven – Roads and means of communication of every kind, railroads, waterways, main roads, bridges, telegraphs, telephones, shall be in no manner impaired.  All civil and military personnel at present employed on them shall remain.  Five thousand locomotives and 150,000 wagons in good working order, with all necessary spare parts and fittings, shall be delivered to the associated powers within the period fixed in annexure No. 2, and total of which shall not exceed thirty-one days.  There shall likewise be delivered 5,000 motor lorries (camion automobiles) in good order, within the period of thirty-six days.  The railways of Alsace-Lorraine shall be handed over within the period of thirty-one days, together with pre-war personnel and material.  Further, the material necessary for the working of railways in the countries on the left bank of the Rhine shall be left in situ.  All stores of coal and material for the upkeep of permanent ways, signals, and repair shops shall be left in situ.  These stores shall be maintained by Germany in so far as concerns the working of the railroads in the countries on the left bank of the Rhine.  All barges taken from the Allies shall be restored to them.  The note, annexure No. 2, regulates the details of these measures.

Eight – The German command shall be responsible for revealing within the period of forty-eight hours after the signing of the armistice all mines or delayed action fuses on territory evacuated by the German troops and shall assist in their discovery and destruction.  It also shall reveal all destructive measures that may have been taken (such as poisoning or polluting of springs and wells, etc.).  All under penalty of reprisals.

Nine – The right of requisition shall be exercised by the allied and United States armies in all occupied territories, subject to regulation of accounts with those whom it may concern.  The upkeep of the troops of occupation in the Rhineland (excluding Alsace-Lorraine) shall be charged to the German Government.

Ten – The immediate repatriation without reciprocity, according to detailed conditions which shall be fixed, of all allied and United States prisoners of war, including persons tinder trial or convicted.  The allied powers and the United States shall be able to dispose of them as they wish.  This condition annuls the previous conventions on the subject of the exchange of prisoners of war, including the one of July, 1918, in course of ratification.  However, the repatriation of German prisoners of war interned in Holland and in Switzerland shall continue as before.  The repatriation of German prisoners of war shall be regulated at the conclusion of the preliminaries of peace.

Eleven – Sick and wounded who cannot be removed from evacuated territory will be cared for by German personnel, who will be left on the spot with the medical material required.

II. Disposition Relative to the Eastern Frontiers of Germany

Twelve – All German troops at present in the territories which before belonged to Austria-Hungary, Rumania, Turkey, shall withdraw immediately within the frontiers of Germany as they existed on August First, Nineteen Fourteen.  All German troops at present in the territories which before the war belonged to Russia shall likewise withdraw within the frontiers of Germany, defined as above, as soon as the Allies, taking into account the internal situation of these territories, shall decide that the time for this has come.

Thirteen – Evacuation by German troops to begin at once, and all German instructors, prisoners, and civilians as well as military agents now on the territory of Russia (as defined before 1914) to be recalled.

Fourteen – German troops to cease at once all requisitions and seizures and any other undertaking with a view to obtaining supplies intended for Germany in Rumania and Russia (as defined on August 1, 1914).

Fifteen – Renunciation of the treaties of Bucharest and Brest-Litovsk and of the supplementary treaties.

Sixteen – The Allies shall have free access to the territories evacuated by the Germans on their eastern frontier, either through Danzig, or by the Vistula, in order to convey supplies to the populations of those territories and for the purpose of maintaining order.

III. Clause Concerning East Africa

Seventeen – Evacuation by all German forces operating in East Africa within a period to be fixed by the Allies.

IV. General Clauses

Eighteen – Repatriation, without reciprocity, within a maximum period of one month in accordance with detailed conditions hereafter to be fixed of all interned civilians, including hostages under trial or convicted, belonging to the Allied or associated powers other than those enumerated in Article Three.

Nineteen – The following financial conditions are required: Reparation for damage done.  While such armistice lasts no public securities shall be removed by the enemy which can serve as a pledge to the Allies for the recovery or reparation for war losses.  Immediate restitution of the cash deposit in the national bank of Belgium, and in general immediate return of all documents, specie, stocks, shares, paper money, together with plant for the issue thereof, touching public or private interests in the invaded countries.  Restitution of the Russian and Rumanian gold yielded to Germany or taken by that power.  This gold to be delivered in trust to the Allies until the signature of peace.

V. Naval Conditions

Twenty – Immediate cessation of all hostilities at sea and definite information to be given as to the location and movements of all German ships.  Notification to be given to neutrals that freedom of navigation in all territorial waters is given to the naval and mercantile marines of the allied and associated powers, all questions of neutrality being waived.

Twenty-one – All naval and mercantile marine prisoners of the allied and associated powers in German hands to be returned without reciprocity.

Twenty-two – Surrender to the Allies and United States of all submarines (including submarine cruisers and all mine-laying submarines) now existing, with their complete armament and equipment, in ports which shall be specified by the Allies and United States.  Those which cannot take the sea shall be disarmed of the personnel and material and shall remain under the supervision of the Allies and the United States.  The submarines which are ready for the sea shall be prepared to leave the German ports as soon as orders shall be received by wireless for their voyage to the port designated for their delivery, and the remainder at the earliest possible moment.  The conditions of this article shall be carried into effect within the period of fourteen days after the signing of the armistice.

Twenty-three – German surface warships which shall be designated by the Allies and the United States shall be immediately disarmed and thereafter interned in neutral ports or in default of them in allied ports to be designated by the Allies and the United States.  They will there remain under the supervision of the Allies and of the United States, only caretakers being left on board.  The following warships are designated by the Allies: Six battle cruisers, ten battleships, eight light cruisers (including two mine layers), fifty destroyers of the most modern types.  All other surface warships (including river craft) are to be concentrated in German naval bases to be designated by the Allies and the United States and are to be completely disarmed and classed under the supervision of the Allies and the United States.  The military armament of all ships of the auxiliary fleet shall be put on shore.  All vessels designated to be interned shall be ready to leave the German ports seven days after the signing of the armistice.  Directions for the voyage will be given by wireless.

Twenty-four – The Allies and the United States of America shall have the right to sweep up all mine fields and obstructions laid by Germany outside German territorial waters, and the positions of these are to be indicated.

Twenty-five – Freedom of access to and from the Baltic to be given to the naval and mercantile marines of the allied and associated powers.  To secure this the Allies and the United States of America shall be empowered to occupy all German forts, fortifications, batteries, and defence works of all kinds in all the entrances from the Cattegat into the Baltic, and to sweep up all mines and obstructions within and without German territorial waters, without any question of neutrality being raised, and the positions of all such mines and obstructions are to be indicated.

Twenty-six – The existing blockade conditions set up by the allied and associated powers are to remain unchanged, and all German merchant ships found at sea are to remain liable to capture.  The Allies and the United States should give consideration to the provisioning of Germany during the armistice to the extent recognized as necessary.

Twenty-seven – All naval aircraft are to be concentrated and immobilized in German bases to be specified by the Allies and the United States of America.

Twenty-eight – In evacuating the Belgian coast and ports Germany shall abandon in situ and in fact all port and river navigation material, all merchant ships, tugs, lighters, all naval aeronautic apparatus, material and supplies, and all arms, apparatus, and supplies of every kind.

Twenty-nine – All Black Sea ports are to be evacuated by Germany; all Russian war vessels of all descriptions seized by Germany in the Black Sea are to be handed over to the Allies and the United States of America; all neutral merchant vessels seized are to be released; all warlike and other materials of all kinds seized in those ports are to be returned and German materials as specified in Clause Twenty-eight are to be abandoned.

Thirty – All merchant vessels in German hands belonging to the allied and associated powers are to be restored in ports to be specified by the Allies and the United States of America without reciprocity.

Thirty-one – No destruction of ships or of materials to be permitted before evacuation, surrender, or restoration.

Thirty-two – The German Government will notify the neutral Governments of the world, and particularly the Governments of Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and Holland, that all restrictions placed on the trading of their vessels with the allied and associated countries, whether by the German Government or by private German interests, and whether in return for specific concessions, such as the export of shipbuilding materials, or not, are immediately cancelled.

Thirty-three – No transfers of German merchant shipping of any description to any neutral flag are to take place after signature of the armistice.

VI. Duration of Armistice

Thirty-four – The duration of the armistice is to be thirty days, with option to extend.  During this period if its clauses are not carried into execution the armistice may be denounced by one of the contracting parties, which must give warning forty-eight hours in advance.  It is understood that the execution of Articles 3 and 18 shall not warrant the denunciation of the armistice on the ground of insufficient execution within a period fixed, except in the case of bad faith in carrying them into execution.  In order to assure the execution of this convention under the best conditions, the principle of a permanent international armistice commission is admitted.  This commission will act under the authority of the allied military and naval Commanders in Chief.

VII. The Limit for Reply

Thirty-five – This armistice to be accepted or refused by Germany within seventy-two hours of notification.

This armistice has been signed the Eleventh of November, Nineteen Eighteen, at 5 o’clock French time.

F. FOCH.
R. E. WEMYSS.
ERZBERGER.
A. OBERNDORFF.
WINTERFELDT.
VON SALOW.

 

The Armistice ending the Great War was signed at 5:00 AM on November 11, 1918.

Published in: on November 8, 2018 at 5:30 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: ,