Thursday, November 11, 2004

WORLD WAR I ENDS: November 11, 1918

At the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, the Great War ends. At 5 a.m. that morning, Germany, bereft of manpower and supplies and faced with imminent invasion, signed an armistice agreement with the Allies in a railroad car outside Compiýgne, France. The First World War left nine million soldiers dead and 21 million wounded, with Germany, Russia, Austria-Hungary, France, and Great Britain each losing nearly a million or more lives. In addition, at least five million civilians died from disease, starvation, or exposure.

    Interesting info found yesterday:
  • Of the 418,000 Canadian soldiers sent into World War One, over 60,000 were killed. There are only three WW1 veterans still alive.
  • More than 330,000 Australians served overseas in World War One. Of these, nearly 60,000 died. There are only four WW1 veterans still alive in Australia.
  • I couldn't find the numbers for American WW1 survivors, but it has to be pretty small as well.

1921 Dedication of the Tomb of the Unknowns
Exactly three years after the end of World War I, the Tomb of the Unknowns is dedicated at Arlington Cemetery in Virginia during an Armistice Day ceremony presided over by President Warren G. Harding.

Coincidentally, George S. Patton (one of the ablest American commanders in WWII) was born on this date in 1885. Patton studied at West Point and served as a tank officer in WWI.
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