The WW1 Armistice was a truce that marked the end of warfare between Germany and the Allies on November 11, 1918. However, it was not the end of the First World War itself but an agreement that stopped the Western Front’s aggression while terms of permanent peace were discussed. What finally ended world war 1 was the Treaty of Versailles, after more than half a year of negotiation.
In addition, Germany agreed to the Armistice because it’s Spring Offensive in 1918 gained their territory but unfortunately exhausted their supplies and reinforcements. Thus, allowing the Allies to push them back with their immeasurably successful 100 Days campaign.
Moreover, Ludendorff, the German military commander, only wanted an armistice to give his troops a rest as preparation to further resistance. Still, by October 17, he thought his troops could do without rest. However, the situation worsened, and he was forced to change his mind because the Germans suffered increasing deprivations and were half-starved because of the mid-1918 Allied blockade.
When the hope of attaining victory on the Western Front was no more, most Germans wished the war would end, even when it meant accepting harsh peace terms. The terms of the Armistice are as stipulated below:
- The Germans were to evacuate occupied territory in France and Belgium.
- The Allies were to occupy the area ten kilometers east of the Rhine, and the rest of the Rhineland region declared a demilitarized zone.
- The German military was to surrender war material such as ships, planes, and machine guns.
Furthermore, the four years of adversity at home and the news of military defeat caused social unrest and revolutions in Germany. Hence, with a weakening military troop and no support from home, Germany had no option but to sign on the Allies’ terms.
Ultimately, on October 20, 1918, Germany agreed to the unilateral settlement of conditions for the Armistice and the evacuation in the prompt belief that Wilson would not allow an insult to Germany’s honor.