Sunday, November 11, 2007
On This Day
On this day in 1918, representatives of the German government and military signed the armistice document dictated to them by Marshal Ferdinand Foch, supreme commander of Allied forces, in Foch's wagon-lit railway car on a siding in the Compiègne Forest, thus bringing combat in World War I to an end. France later turned the wagon-lit into the centerpiece of a war memorial. When the French requested an armistice with Germany in 1940, Hitler had the wagon-lit removed from the memorial and forced the French to sign the document he dictated in it. (The picture above is of Hitler leaving the wagon-lit after the French capitulation.) Germany then took possession of the car, and it was destroyed by the SS in April 1945 as the end of World War II approached.