The football match during the 1914 Christmas truce has become one of the most iconic moments of the First World War. But there is still some debate about whether football really featured in the truce.
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The Christmas Truce of 1914 is remembered for the reported football match that took place between British and German soldiers, but what is the truth?
During WWI, Brits and Germans played soccer in the trenches, a Christmas truce that reminds us: war is war, and soccer is something much better.
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A large group of the 1st Battalion, Wiltshire Regiment join in on a football match, France in 1916. Courtesy Imperial War Museum via Open University Final of the 48th Divisional Fanshawe Cup.
At the spot where their regimental ancestors came out from their trenches to play football on Christmas Day 1914, men from the 1st Battalion, The Royal Welch Fusiliers played a football match with the German Battalion 371. The Germans won 2–1.
The truce was not observed everywhere along the Western Front. Elsewhere the fighting continued and casualties did occur on Christmas Day. Some officers were unhappy at the truce and worried that it would undermine fighting spirit. After 1914, the High Commands on both sides tried to prevent any truces on a similar scale happening again.
The football match spontaneously broke out in No Man's Land in Flanders, France on Christmas Day 1914 It signalled a truce along the Western Front, as British and German soldier lay down their ...
Some Germans lit Christmas trees around their trenches, and there was even a documented case of soldiers from opposing sides playing a good-natured game of soccer.