ON THIS DAY
The armistice was signed by representatives of France, Great Britain and Germany. It was an agreement to end fighting as a prelude to peace negotiations. The Treaty of Versailles signed six months later would act as the peace treaty between the nations.
The armistice began on November 11, 1918, at 11am (French time) – the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. The armistice itself was agreed six hours earlier at 5am, the first term of it being that fighting would end at 11am.
The signing took place in Ferdinand Foch’s railway carriage in the Forest of Compiègne, about 60km north of Paris, France. The location was chosen as it was remote and discreet. Foch was a French military commander who signed the armistice.
In 1940, another armistice was signed in the same railway carriage in the same forest. This time it was Germany forcing France to sign an agreement to end fighting against them in World War II, which was essentially a French surrender. To add to the deliberate humiliation, Adolf Hitler sat in the same seat that Foch had sat in in 1918.