Ceasefire and Football

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by JimmyNeutron, Oct 26, 2008.

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  1. Hi all.

    Apologies if this has been asked before, I did a search but couldn't find an answer, I am in an ongoing feud with Mrs. Neutron re some notes in an old family diary re a game of footie against the Bosch during a ceasefire.

    Now as we are (or should be) aware during 1914 (WW1) there was a 48 hour Christmas ceasefire where we knocked the ball about and according to at least one source Capt. E Blackadder scored but was dubiously ruled out for offside!

    My question to you is this.....did such an occasion occur during WW2 with the ceasefire and football? Mrs Neutron thinks this happened in WW2 and I don't. Unfortunately the diary is a little scrappy at best (can't even make out the score!) what with the passage of time and all that so there isn't much to base the age of it!

    What say the more learned ARRSE members out there?


    Edited for poor spelling
  2. To kick-off (ha, ha), the 1914 truce wasn't official and it certainly wasn't universal. In fact it occurred in few sections as opposed to the general assumption that it was all along the front (remember that in 1914, the French and British were pretty intermingled along the front and the French had little incentive to be gracious towards the invader). Where it did take place, it wasn't all swapping cap badges, cigars and games of football. In some sectors it amounted to nothing more than a lack of shooting at each other.

    In WWII, apart from Christmas 1944, there wasn't really a front-line where such could happen. In 1939, the BEF was in northern France, facing Belgium but not in that country because it was neutral. When the Phoney War stage was broken in 1940, the BEF was evacuated long before any chance of a Christmas truce was possible.

    By 1944, I don't think anyone on the Allied side was in any frame of mind to offer a truce, Christmas or not.
  3. I think Sir Paul McCartney may disagree.
  4. Thanks for that, all very interesting points. At least both me and the missus can share in our combined ignorance!
  5. General Melchett

    General Melchett LE Moderator

    There is a film called "Joyeux Noel" about the great war truce. The nasty jock bloke from eastenders a few years back (ex- matelot, Trevor?) is in it.
  6. There is also an excellent Book on the subject, I bought it a while back, called "Silent Night" by Stanley Weintraub...
  7. There's a marker near Messines, that commemorates one of the places that the 1914 truce took place.



    It's very near Prowse Point CWGC cemetery.