The Time of the Armistice

I’ve been asked a question.

We all know that the ceasefire came into operation at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.

Which would be 11 a.m. French time.

What time was this in Germany?  There’s a suggestion that in Germany the War would not have stopped until 12 noon local time.

Does anyone know if this is correct?



  1. Silvia Mergenthal
    Posted June 7, 2013 at 4:47 am | Permalink

    I suspect this is actually true as France appears to have used GMT until 1940. By contrast, Germany used CET (Central European Time, GMT + 1), and I think also introduced it in the territories which it occupied in WWI, such as Belgium. Best, Silvia

  2. Posted June 7, 2013 at 6:32 am | Permalink

    Thanks, Sylvia. You’re right. France was on GMT until 1940, when the German occupiers introduced CET. They did this for their own convenience, but it seems to have suited the French, since they did not go back to GMT after 1945.
    Looking idly for confirmation of the Armistice time in Berlin, I found this article in the Manchester Guardian archive, which casts no light on that little question, but gives a graphic picture of November 11th in Berlin. Click on it for a readable version:

  3. Posted June 9, 2013 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    IIRC there was some initial confusion at the beginning of the war about when precisely Britain should begin hostilities because the ultimatum to the German government on August 4 1914 didn’t specify whether the deadline for reply was 11pm London time or Berlin time. At the last minute they decided to go with London time.

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