Today in Legal History: World War I Ends

By fall 1918, the Central Powers (Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria and the Ottoman Empire) were collapsing from lack of resources.  In November, 1918, Germany had to seek an armistice, with the initial cessation of hostilities set for November 11, 1918 at 11:00 am French time (11th day of the 11th month).  There were reports of commanders holding a stopwatch as fighting continued until the last moment.  When fighting stopped at 11:00 am, soldiers cheered all down the battle lines.  World War I was a brutal one.  Germany and France had both sent 80% of their male population ages 15-49 into battle.  Approximately nine million soldiers died and 21 million more were wounded.

More information is available at:

  • John Dos Passos Three Soldiers (fiction), (George Doran Co. 1921) LAW-Walkover Collection (2nd Floor)  PS3507.O743T5 1921
  • Film: Paths of Glory (Director: Stanley Kubrick 1957)  LAW-Reserve (Videos) VC-P023
  • Margaret Randolph Higonnet (ed.) Behind the Lines: Gender and the Two World Wars  LAW-Culp Collection (3rd Floor-Range 3A) D639.W7B43 1987
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