Diary November 11, 1918

Allied Plenipotentiaries at the signing of the Armistice

The Allied Plenipotentiaries at the signing of the Armistice in Foch’s Salon Carriage.

World War One Diary for Monday, November 11, 1918:

Western Front

France: ARMISTICE SIGNED in Foch’s wagon lit at Rethondes, Compiegne Forest at 0505 hours, COMES INTO FORCE 1100 HOURS and fighting ceases all along front.
Allied line from Selzaete and Ghent to Thann and Swiss border: BEF stands on 55-mile line; Franco-Belgian frontier east of Avesnes-Jeumont-Givry, 4 miles east of Mons (captured by 3rd Canadian Division and 5th Lancers) ­- Chievres 4 miles east of Ath­-Lessines (captured at 1055 hours with 150 PoWs) – Grammont. Since July 18 Allied Armies have taken 385,500 PoWs and 6,615 guns (BEF share totals 188,700 PoWs and 2,840 guns). Petain weeps in frustration that Armistice has denied ‘decisive’ victory, but at 2000 hours writes GHQ order ‘Closed due to victory’.
Meuse: Vanguards of US Second Army and 3 French corps are within 6 miles of Montmedy. AEF strength 1,981,701 men (1,078,222 combat troops).

Eastern Front

Germany: Germans have 26 divisions from Finland to Georgia, Austrians have 7 divisions in Ukraine.
Britain: Government recognizes Latvia.
Poland: ­Directorate formed at Warsaw, deposes Regency Council.
Lithuania: Hoffmann diary (Kovno) ‘A Soldiers’ Council has been formed here also.’
Northern Russia: Archangel Allies (53 casualties) at Kurgomin-Tulgas (river Dvina) repulse 1,000 Reds (over 600 casualties) and gunboats.

Southern Fronts

Balkans: 80,000 Germans (53 battalions or 6 divisions) with 338 guns on Southeastern (Danube) front. British effective other ranks strength 103,996 (November 1 ration strength 158,707).

Sea War

North Sea: ARMISTICE TERMS stipulate delivery of 11 German battleships, 5 battlecruisers, 8 cruisers, 50 destroyers (all modern warships) and all U-boats to internment. Germany to retain only 6 battleships, 6 cruisers and 24 destroyers (all oldest classes). Record 20 Q-ships under SNO Scotland. Germany has 171 U­-boats plus 149 building.
Naval Council of 21 in command at Wilhemshaven.
Britain: Light cruiser Carlisle completed by Fairfield Yard, joins Harwich Force.

Air War

Western Front: French Breguet 14 (Minier) carries German plenipotentiary Major Geyer from Tergnier to German GHQ at Spa with Armistice terms. They include IMMEDIATE DEMOBILIZATION OF GERMAN ARMY AIR SERVICE AND SURRENDER OF 2,000 FIGHTERS AND BOMBERS (eventually reduced to 1,700). Special importance is attached to confiscation of all Fokker DVII fighters and Zeppelins – 2,713 planes handed over by January 16, 1919.
RAF now has 22,647 aircraft (including trainers; 1,576 serviceable out of 1,789 on Western Front) with 291,170 personnel (54,075 in France). French first­-line strength 4,511 aircraft and 61,000 men in 80 fighter, 32 bomber and 146 reconnaissance squadrons; German 2,390 (2,709 establishment) including 1,134-1,296 fighters and 168 bombers in 284 flying units with c.4,500 airmen. Since May 16, French 1st Air Division (600 aircraft) alone has claimed 637 German aircraft and 125 balloons, dropping 1,360t of bombs.

Politics

FRANCE: ARMISTICE SIGNED AT 0505 HOURS, HOSTILITIES END 1100 HOURS. Germans to evacuate France and Low Countries in 14 days. New German Foreign Minister Dr Solf appeals for lighter terms and immediate talks (November 12).
AUSTRIA: EM­PEROR CHARLES RE­NOUNCES RULE (and as King of Hungary on November 13). Prime Minister Lammasch and last Imperial Cabinet resign.
USA: Wilson Washington speech says Allies will feed Central Europe.

Neutrals

Switzerland: Bolshevik Mission expelled.
HOLLAND: Kaiser given refuge at Count Bentinck’s Amerongen moated house near Utrecht.

Occupied Territories

Belgium: First German Army Soviet at Malines.

Home Fronts

USA: AP flash brings armistice news at 0300 hours. Wilson reads terms to joint session of Congress. Greatest nationwide celebration ever known.
Britain: King’s message to Empire. Joyous pandemonium in London and elsewhere from 1100 hours. CIGS Wilson records No 10 dinner ‘Lloyd George wants to shoot the Kaiser. Winston does not …’ War Risks Insurance reduced 50% since November 1.
Austria: Emperor accepts his last Prime Minister’s resignation. Imperial family leave Schoenbrunn for Eckartsau, 37 1/2 miles northeast of Vienna.
Germany­: Berlin workers delegates appoint council of Six Peoples Commissars (non-Bolshevik).
France: From 1100 hours church bells salute the Armistice, Paris anti-aircraft guns fire 1,200 shots.

Call of War
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