One hundred years ago today, on the 11th day of the 11th month at the 11th hour, the fighting finally stopped. The Great War would not formally come to an end until the Treaty of Versailles was signed in June of 1919, but the carnage mercifully came to an end on November 11, 1918.
The armistice was signed at 5:12 am, declaring the “cessation of hostilities by land and in the air six hours after the signing.” The fighting would continue for almost six more hours, and it has been estimated that this time period produced an additional 11,000 casualties. It’s stunning to think about those numbers now, but this war produced roughly 40 million casualties. This included the deaths of roughly 9.7 million military personnel and 10 million civilians.
The destruction and death tolls of this war changed the world forever. Even worse, the resulting peace treaties planted the seeds for the Second World War which produced even more death and destruction.