Dec 25, 2010

When a war stopped for a day on Christmas

It was on Christmas in 1914, 96 years ago, when a war ended for a day and both sides stopped the shooting and killing and enacted an impromptu cease-fire as they fraternized in the "no man's land" between the trenches.

During the next 24 hours one of the strangest and greatest acts of peace settled over a war-torn battle field.

Photo shows British and German troops fraternizing on the battlefield during the "Christmas truce of 1914."

From Christmas Eve through Christmas Day, there was no shooting, no hating and no killing as British and German soldiers came out of their trenches. Christmas carols were sung by both the British and German troops. They shook hands, swapped their meager rations, tobacco and chocolates.

It was a brief peace amid a devastating war and was later called the Christmas Truce of 1914, one of the last examples of wartime chivalry.

The next day the fighting, killing and hatred returned and lasted until the war ended four long years later.