Download This Sample
This sample is exclusively for KidsKonnect members!
To download this worksheet, click the button below to signup for free (it only takes a minute) and you'll be brought right back to this page to start the download!
Sign Me Up
The Christmas Truce occurred on and around Christmas Day 1914, when the sounds of rifles firing and shells exploding faded in a number of places along the Western Front during World War I in favor of holiday celebrations. During the unofficial ceasefire, soldiers on both sides of the conflict emerged from the trenches and shared gestures of goodwill.
See the fact file below for more information on the Christmas Truce in 1914 or alternatively, you can download our 24-page Christmas Truce in 1914 worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
Summary of World War I
- The root of the First World War was the brewing tensions in the alliances involving European powers, the Ottoman Empire, Russia, and other parties. However, it is the political instability in the Balkans (particularly Bosnia, Serbia, and Herzegovina) that threatened to trigger a large-scale conflict.
- On June 28, 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his wife were assassinated by the Serbian nationalist Gavrilo Princip. It sparked the war.
- Because of the assassination, Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia on July 28, 1914. Forced to honor agreements, other countries had to support their allies.
- The Triple Alliance (later called the Central Powers) consisted of Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy which was replaced by Turkey faced the Triple Entente (later called Allies); Russia, France, and Great Britain. The allies were soon supported by the Balkan countries and the United States.
- The war introduced trench and chemical warfare, gas masks, flame throwers, tank battles, aerial warfare, aircraft carrier, guide dogs, women enlistment, propaganda, wireless communications, and steel helmets.
- World War I began on July 28, 1914, and ended with an Allied victory on November 11, 1918.
- Casualties were estimated at 8.5 million soldiers and some 13 million civilians during World War I, not including the war animals and massive environmental destruction brought by the four-year conflict.
- Besides war-related deaths, the soldiers and refugees suffered the Spanish Flu Pandemic that was inevitably spread around the world.
- Four imperial dynasties also collapsed and left the victorious countries dividing the territories amongst themselves.
- With the war going on beginning in July, the belligerents were enthusiastic that the war would end by Christmas of 1914.
- The Germans and British troops would go on battling, losing hundreds of thousands of soldiers in its wake, particularly during trench warfare.
- Life was miserable for all the soldiers stationed in the trenches.
- Separated by 50 yards (46 metres) or less, the belligerents faced massive casualties just by climbing over the top edge into what was known as “no man’s land.”
- The soldiers also suffered infectious diseases such as dysentery, cholera and typhoid fever, and trench foot due to prolonged exposure to wetness often resulting in amputations.
- In early December of 1914, Pope Benedict XV issued an appeal to the European leaders “that the guns may fall silent at least upon the night the angels sang.”
- However, the leaders weren’t interested in ceasefires or any act of truce but sent special gifts to the soldiers to boost morale. In particular, German emperor William II sent Tannenbäume (Christmas trees) to the front.
- The German soldiers erected the trees outside their trenches and sang hymns such as “Stille Nacht” (“Silent Night”).
- The Allied lines responded with Christmas carols. A policy known as “live and let live” was ordered by lower-ranking officers to only fire when being fired upon.
- The German-Saxon troop was credited to have bridged communication between the two parties. Then on the morning of Christmas Day, the German soldiers emerged from their trenches, waving their arms to show they carry no weapons and do not pose any threat.
- They approached across no-man’s-land, calling out “Merry Christmas” in their enemies’ native tongues. When it was clear they were not carrying weapons, British soldiers soon joined them to socialize and exchange gifts of cigarettes and plum puddings.
- According to accounts of the soldiers through their letters, both sides played soccer, shared food and drinks, and held joint services to bury the dead.
- The truce only happened along the 30-mile (48-km) front controlled by the British Expeditionary Force. In other areas where French troops were stationed, the war continued.
- Not everyone was happy with the truce, including Adolf Hitler, who even said “Such a thing should not happen in wartime. Have you no German sense of honour?” (translated)
- Some officers were worried that the truce would undermine fighting spirit so they requested the upper command to do something about it.
- After 1914, the High Commands on both sides replaced the fighting troops and tried to prevent any truces on a similar scale.
- No court-martials or punishments were reported to have been made in relation to the truce as it was feared it would destroy the soldiers’ morale.
- While no large-scale truces were made until after the armistice of November 1918, isolated incidents of soldiers holding brief truces later in the war allowed both sides to repair their trenches or gather their dead.
Christmas Truce in 1914 Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle that includes everything you need to know about the Christmas Truce in 1914 across 24 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use worksheets that are perfect for teaching about the Christmas Truce in 1914 that occurred on and around Christmas Day 1914 when the sounds of rifles firing and shells exploding faded in a number of places along the Western Front during World War I.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Christmas Truce of 1914 Facts
- The Spirit of Christmas
- Christmas in the Early 1900s
- Christmas in the Trenches
- A Song for Peace
- Letter from the Front
- Snail Mail
- Christmas Greetings
- Illustrating Peace
- Making a Truce
- Peace on Earth
Link/cite this page
If you reference any of the content on this page on your own website, please use the code below to cite this page as the original source.
Link will appear as Christmas Truce in 1914 Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, December 16, 2021
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.