The Armistice

American troops rejoice at the front in France, upon receiving news of Germany's surrender.

The term 'The Armistice' specifically refers to the end of World War I. It marked the cessation of hostilities while awaiting a peace settlement.

An armistice commission was dispatched to negotiate with the Allies. At 5am on 11 November 1918, the Armistice was signed between Germany and the Allies in a railway carriage at Compiègne. The terms were laid down by the Allies, the event signifying the end of the War. At 11am that morning hostilities ended on the Western Front.

However, it was to be nearly a year before all hostilities ended.

In London, at 11am on 11 November 1918, Big Ben rang for first time in four years.

In the UK Armistice Day is now commemorated on the same day as Remembrance Sunday.


On 17 November under the terms of the armistice, Allied troops began to reoccupy the areas of France and Belgium that had been held by the Germans since 1914. Allied and U.S. troops followed the withdrawing Germans into Germany. On December 9, Allied troops crossed the Rhine into the bridgeheads agreed in the armistice. The British were at Cologne, the Americans at Coblenz, and the French at Mainz. Meanwhile, on 21 November the German High Seas Fleet sailed into the Firth of Forth, between the lines of the British Grand Fleet. It later was shifted to Scapa Flow.

Here on 11 November 1918 succumbed the criminal pride of the German Reich, vanquished by the free peoples which it tried to enslave.