On 11 November 1918, after four years of fighting, the Allied powers signed an agreement with Germany to end the Great War and to begin peace negotiations. The armistice, as it was known, took effect from the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. But it would be more than seven months before the Versailles Peace Treaty peace would finally be signed and peace declared on 28 June 1919.
For the war-weary soldiers who had fought in the trenches of Europe and the Middle East, the Great War was over. But the world as they had known it was changed forever.
In this book many voices recall the day the fighting stopped, and the months that followed before peace rang out around the world.
Stories of hope, joy, resignation, loss and despair are told through the eyes of many different participants, including the war-wounded Adolf Hitler who vows to avenge the enemies of Germany; a young French girl who returns to find her house in ruins; and the German lawyer who sees the devastation of northern France for the first time on his way to Versailles.
Direct accounts from real participants such as 33rd President of the United States, Harry S Truman on the Western Front, World War 1 German fighter pilot ace, Herman Goring, British Prime Minister David Lloyd George, and Supreme Allied Commander, Ferdinand Jean Marie Foch, mingle with factually-based descriptions from a host of characters, including a starving victim of the German Blockade; an angry French War veteran waiting for news of the peace negotiations; and a young girl celebrating the declaration of peace at Versailles on 28 June 1919.
The rich panoply of voices in Ruth Starke's text offers students a broad understanding of the armistice and the deep anxieties that underpinned the 1919 Peace Treaty negotiations and the future of peace in Europe and beyond.
David Kennett’s arresting illustrations, with their strong compositions and dynamic use of perspective, capture the drama and tension of this tumultuous time in history and invite readers to enter into the story of one of the most significant events of the 20th century.