Friday, November 11, 2005

November 11, the Truce

Today is a holiday in France. We celebrate the end of World War I which ended precisely November 11, 1918 at eleven o'clock. This truce (armistice) was signed by Marechal Foch in a train carriage specially fitted for this occasion (this same carriage was also used in 1940 by Hitler to sign the rendition of France). This statue of Marechal Ferdinand Foch is at the Place du Trocadero and it faces the Eiffel tower; I took it yesterday morning when the sun was just rising.


  1. Eric, what a great shot with the sun reflection. I loved the story too as I never am quite sure which Marechal did what and with all the street names given to people like Foch, it's another thing I've learned. Does the carriage still exist in a museum somewhere?

  2. Michael, the carriage is still in its place in the forêt de Compiègne...


  3. Eric - I have the same comment as Michael (Hi, Michael!!!) - the colors are gorgeous on the statue. I have been thinking quite a bit about WWI over the past year, possibly because of the release of "A Very Long Engagement" on DVD here in the U.S. (a disappointment, but not for the battle scenes), and because my boyfriend is a documentary producer who specializes in historical documentaries and is working a lot on WWI in the Middle-East these days.

    I remember, as a child, knowing a good number of people who had lived through both WWI and WWII, and they unanimously thought that WWI had been much worse. Of course, this may be due to the fact that they were younger when it had broken out, and it was the first "modern war" that brought about tons of carnaged and millions of deaths (the American Civil War also shares that claim to fame, I would venture...). But a war of trenches is horrid, and it is a sure death sentence for those who are sent to the front.

  4. Sun rising?

    You get up early!

    Thanks for the photo--that's one thing I never do (get up early).

    And the info, too. I had no idea what armistice day meant. But did take the day to sleep in late. Natch. ;)

  5. The carriage that is still in Rethondes (near Compiegne) is not the one that was used to sign the armistice. During WWII, the original one was taken to Germany where it disapeared.

    Note that the exact same carriage was used by the German in 1940 to sign the surrender. An humiliating symbol back then.. I guess that's why the Germans took it then to make their own museum.


  6. Jolies couleurs, belle photo

  7. I agree about the "Very Long Engagement" Not that it wasn't a good movie, it kind of was, but it certainly came across as a "Very Long Movie."

    That thing sitting in the Foret de Compiegne is not the original? Didn't know that. Thanks.

  8. In fact the carriage that you still can see in Rethondes is not the original one because the German burnt it in 1945> The one you can see now in the Compiegne forest (where Rethondes is located) is a replica. If you want to know more visit Wikipidia here

  9. Ben, nous, faut qu'on fasse attention au Eric original ! Y'en a qu'un et il est irremplaçable !