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100 years since the WW1 Armistice, Remembrance Day remains a powerful reminder of the cost of war

4 15 311
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One hundred years ago – on November 11 1918, at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month – millions of men laid down their guns.

This was Armistice Day, the end of the first world war.

Germany, the last belligerent standing among the Central Powers, had collapsed militarily, economically and politically.

Armistice Day – later known as Remembrance Day – has since been commemorated every year.

Read more: World politics explainer: The Great War (WWI)

On November 11 1918, aboard Marshall Ferdinand Foch’s train carriage, a few plenipotentiaries of Germany and the main Allied nations signed a short document that ordered a ceasefire, effective from 11am. In doing so, they put an end to the global carnage that had started in August 1914 and had killed more than 10 million combatants and 6 million civilians.

Notably, though this document stopped combat, it did not formally end the war. Indeed, Germany had sought an armistice in order to negotiate a formal peace treaty. This peace was secured eight months later, on June 28 1919, at the Paris Peace Conference.

The Armistice also didn’t resolve localised conflicts resulting from the war. These raged on in parts of Eastern Europe and the Middle East through to the early 1920s.

But for most nations involved in the first world war, the armistice of November 11 was the day the fighting finally stopped, which is why it has become a major commemorative event across the globe.

On the first Armistice Day, November 11 1918, crowds cheered on the streets of Allied countries such as Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the US, France and Belgium. People rejoiced at the........

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