11th Month, 11th Day, 11th Hour: Armistice Day, 1918, World War I and Its Violent Climax
'The futility of war - and the Great War in particular - has often been remarked upon but it was carried to its logical, nonsensical conclusion on 11th November 1918. The prospect of peace appears to have left many with an unendurable sense of unfinished business, causing them to mount attacks even when war's end had been agreed. Almost 3,000 lost their lives in the last few hours before the Armistice: here their tragic story is poignantly told' The Scotsman Using military archives and public records, along with journals and diaries, Joseph Persico weaves together the eleventh hour experiences of the men in the trenches, unsung and unremembered, the British Tommies, French Poilus, American Doughboys and German Feldgrau. Where, for example, was the Austrian corporal, Adolf Hitler, on that day? The pointless fighting on the last day of war is the perfect metaphor for the four years of senseless slaughter that preceded it. This book is sure to become the definitive history of the end of a conflict Winston Churchill called 'the hardest, cruellest, and least-rewarded of all the wars that have been fought.'
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