The 1914 Christmas Truce

The XX Committee

The hundredth anniversary of the Great War has brought about ample press coverage of the epic struggle that determined the course of European and Western civilization over the last century. As a historian by background who has written quite a bit on the Great War, it’s always nice to see the media cover things that otherwise have been long forgotten outside the ranks of historians and buffs.

However, what the media chooses to cover about 1914-1918 adheres to a sort of group-think that I have elsewhere termed The Narrative: trenches, lions led by donkeys, the horror, a nearly exclusive focus on the Western Front (plus one-offs like Gallipoli that include English-speaking troops) — and did I mention the horror?

For all the emphasis since the 1960’s in the English-speaking world’s popular culture on “the horror” of 1914-1918 — as shorthand, this may be termed the Oh! What a…

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