When The Guns Fell Silent.

One of the reasons that we observe Veterans Day on November 11, is the 11th is when the end of the “war to end all wars” came to a close. Although history has shown that World War I was not the “war to end all wars,” the armistice agreed between the parties was that the fighting would end on “the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.”

Now you can hear what it was like at that 11th hour in 1918.

The peace terms had been agreed six hours earlier, but the thunderous noise of heavy artillery fire — and the potential to end yet another human life — continued to the last moment.

The sounds were never recorded, but we do have a visual record of the sound. And now, you can actually hear it.

Even as the armistice came into effect at 11 a.m., Allied soldiers were using state-of-the-art “sound ranging” techniques to detect the location of the enemy.

Rather than recording sound, the system recorded the noise intensity at any one moment onto a rolling piece of photographic film, similar to how a seismograph records tremors in the earth.

Britain’s Imperial War Museum, which had a set of graphic records labelled “THE END OF THE WAR” among its artefacts, asked sound experts from the London acoustics firm Coda to Coda to use just such a photographic record — from the American front on the Moselle — to reproduce a soundscape of the moment of armistice.

The sound of silence is deafening.

November 11, 1918 – An armistice signaling the end of the First World War was signed shortly after 5am. The ceasefire would come into effect at 11am.

(h/t This Ain’t Hell…)

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