Centenary of the Armistice of November 11, 1918 - Miniature Sheet
Centenary of the Armistice of November 11, 1918 - Miniature Sheet for only GBP £4.73
On November 7, 1918, German plenipotentiaries crossed the French lines to negotiate the end of the fighting. Conducted nightly in a clearing in the forest of Compiegne, near Rethondes, the enemy negotiators are received with severity, on the morning of the 8th, in Marshal Foch's carriage-saloon. The latter gives them 72 hours to accept the conditions of the Allies. On November 11, at 5:12 am, the armistice is signed. It will take effect at 11 am Foch then leaves the clearing of Rethondes after posing for a photo that immortalizes the event. In the green leather briefcase he holds under his left arm, he has placed the text by which Germany acknowledges his defeat. Immediately warned, the President of the Council, Georges Clemenceau, cries silently. It is the end of the great butchery, and France is victorious.
On the front, where the fighting is raging until the last minute, no manifestation of exuberant joy, just a great relief, almost a bewilderment. In Paris, as in the big cities of France, on the contrary, it is an extraordinary scene. At 11 o'clock, the church bells began ringing, the sirens of the factories and the firemen answered them and the crowd invaded the streets, sang the Marseillaise at the top of their voices and waved the Allied flags. We kiss each other, we cry and we laugh at the same time. Processions are improvised, one strikes pots, one burns models with the effigy of Kaiser Wilhelm II and the cities are decorated with the three colors. With victory, it is the death of war that we celebrate: there will never be others, we believe.
Clemenceau, nicknamed "Father Victory", is less enthusiastic. He confides: "We won the war; now it will have to win the peace, and it may be more difficult. "