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The Armistice of 1918

After several months of hard fighting on the Western Front, the Allies finally broke through the Hindenburg Line on 29 September 1918. The German army was beaten and within weeks came the Armistice.

The Armistice of Compiègne between the Allies and Germany came into effect at 11am on 11 November 1918. The guns fell silent on the Western Front and after more than four years of unimaginable bloodshed and destruction, the war was finally over. 

At home in Australia, large crowds gathered in capital cities to celebrate the end of conflict.

Sydney, NSW, 11 November 1918. A crowd in Martin Place celebrates the news of the signing of the armistice.

The Armistice paved the way for the signing of a formal peace treaty, the Treaty of Versailles, and the end of the war six months later. On 28 June 1919, the treaty was signed in the Hall of Mirrors at the Palace of Versailles, with Australian Prime Minister William Morris (Billy) Hughes and Deputy Prime Minister Joseph Cook adding their signatures on Australia’s behalf.

After the Second World War, Armistice Day became Remembrance Day, a time to commemorate war dead from all conflicts. Learn more about the Origins of Remembrance Day.

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