France – November 11, 1918 : The clearing of the Armistice -40 photos

Beautiful and informative photo essay on the clearing in a French woods where the Armistice was signed ending the First World War (aka “The Great War” and, sadly, ironically, “The War to End All Wars”).


14-memorial clearing of the armistice compiegne forest


November 11,1918 clearing armistice compiegne

12-memorial of the armistice clearing compiegne forest

11-clearing of the armistice compiegne walk in france

The Armistice that brought to an end of the greatest war in history, was signed on November 11, 1918, on this exact spot in the forest of Compiègne.

13-memorial armistice clearing compiegne forest

The clearing did not exist at that time and the full-grown trees were so thick that aerial observation was impossible.

10-clearing of the armistice rethondes france







The two railway tracks that ran across here were part of  a gunnery rail system branching off from Rethondes station a mile away and could be used for heavy gun platforms.

18-memorial armistice 1918 compiegne forest france

The train bringing the German plenipotentiaries from Tergnier, where they had boarded it after driving from La Capelle, arrived at day-break on November 8 fot the encounter.


The train standing on the other track was used by Marshal Foch as his mobile headquarters behind the front line.



The quiet seclusion of the forest seemed more suitable for such an occasion than his General Headquarters.


20-museum clearing armistice compiegne

The clearing was laid out and inaugurated…

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About Katherine Wikoff

I am a college professor at Milwaukee School of Engineering, where I teach literature, film studies, political science, and communication. I also volunteer with a Milwaukee homeless sanctuary, Repairers of the Breach, as chair of the Communications and Fund Development Committee.
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