The term "Armistice" means to halt hostilities as a prelude to
Realizing that they were not going to
succeed in the war against the Allies, the Germans began to seek peace
negotiations on October 4, 1918. They favored the "Fourteen
Points" that had been written by US President Woodrow Wilson.
The French and British were not pleased with this choice, as they opposed
some of the points in the document. Wilson conceded to these
objections, but he pressed them, saying that the United States would
go forward with a peace agreement with the Germans without them.
So the details of the modified document were sent to the Germans on November 5, 1918.
Another condition of the agreement was the
abdication of the German Kaiser Wilhelm II. The German
Chancellor announced the abdication on November 9, 1918. The
Armistice was formally signed in a railway carriage in the forest of Compiegne, 40
miles NE of Paris at 5am on November 11, 1918. It was
set to take affect 6 hours later, at 11am. (The formal peace
treaty was not signed until June 28, 1919 in Versailles.)
The Germans were to evacuate all occupied
areas within 2 weeks. The agreement required them to give up
most of their military equipment, including guns, aircraft, trains,
submarines, and their navel fleet.
This letter was written on November 11,
1918 about the events of the day as seen and heard by Walter Lockard
from his location outside of Xammes France.
Click to see Armistice Day Letter