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The soldiers 'football match' and the unofficial ceasefire of Christmas 1914 has become a legend of the Great War, but fraternization between enemy troops was actually widespread. In winter 1914, after months of marching, soldiers on both fronts began to dig trenches, and the war became a battle of attrition in which young men faced each other across what was often only a few yards of the muddy, bombed landscape called No Man's Land. Trapped in this devastation the soldiers of both armies experienced a shared feeling of pointlessness that culminated in the unofficial armistice of Christmas 1914, when German and English soldiers laid down their weapons for a few hours of joyful peace and carol singing. Using original research from the best European historians and discovering a history forgotten or lost in censor reports, officer journals and official reports, these brief moments of humanity are explored on all fronts during the long years of conflict.
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