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Saturday, November 11, 2017


Prussian soldiers on the march after winning Franco/Prussian War, 1871.

Veterans Day was called Armistice Day was celebrated from 1918 to the early 1950s commemorating the treaty signings that ended WWI on the 11th hour of the 11 day of the 11 month in 1918.

By the mid-1950s Armistice Day became Veteran’s Day in the U.S to honor all veterans.  

But in the history of 20th century warfare it should be noted Armistice Day was merely a halftime in a war that really began with the Franco Prussian War of 1870-71.

It was the Franco Prussian war that unified the quasi independent German states into one large militaristic Germany.  As a unified military force the Prussians were able to use superior manpower, leadership, organization to overwhelm and humiliate France.

Losing the Franco Prussian war was a bitter pill for the French, which saw them have to endure an invading army march through Paris and the loss of territory (Alsace and parts of Lorraine provinces).

The France entered World War I with the Franco Prussian war loss as a big chip on its shoulder.

The bitterness toward each other was seen in how the Western front of WWI was fought.  France with the aid of its biggest allies Britain and the U.S. was finally able to bankrupt German’s ability to wage war.  But by the early 1930s it became Germany’s turn to avenge the humiliation of being on the wrong side of World War I’s outcome.

Enter World War II, which saw Germany march into Paris (again).  The bloody period between 1939 and 1945 marked the evolution of total war.

This time the Allies utterly devastated Germany finally dismantling the Prussian/ German war machine that came to power in 1870.

There was no Armistice to end World War II.  In its place was utter devastation and total surrender.


German Troops marching in Paris 1940.

U.S. Army 28th Infantry Division marching though Paris after it was liberated from the Germans

French troops marching through Berlin, May 1945

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