Stephan Roget

Many of the most impactful armistices in history are still celebrated as world holidays. But for every well-known declaration of peace, there are dozens of truces about which no one knows. Most recountings of military truce facts are rather dull. Every so often, though, the past surprises us with a ceasefire tale worth telling.

Shared holidays, mutual threats, and strange circumstances all play a part in making enemies agree to a ceasefire during combat. On certain occasions, opposing armies find themselves working together – even if arrangements don’t last for long.

Indeed, war stories aren’t always defined by heroic generals or harrowing combat visuals; sometimes, it’s all about getting along.

A Civilian Asked German And American Soldiers To Be Polite For A Christmas Meal

A Civilian Asked German ... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Strangest Reasons For Truces In Military History
Photo:  US Army/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

The Conflict: The Battle of the Bulge was among the most devastating WWII conflicts. The German troops, in their last major offensive attempt, tried to counter Allied incursions through France and Belgium and into Germany.

The Truce: The holiday season inspired a moment of peace amid the destruction of this fight. Lost in the Hurtgen Forest on Christmas Eve, three American soldiers knocked on the door of a rural German home. The family readily invited the Americans inside to share in a Christmas dinner. When a group of four German soldiers showed up later, the homeowner welcomed them too, provided no one fired at each other.

Both sides accepted the truce, ate together, and parted without any incident. The Germans even helped the Americans plot a path back to their own frontline.