At the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, the Great War ended. Try answering these trivia questions about the end of World War I.
What Was Controversial About the Announced End of Hostilities? The armistice that ended the war was signed early in the morning on November 11, around 5 a.m. However, it was supposed to take effect at 11 a.m., rather than taking effect immediately. The reason, supposedly, was that the countries wanted to give the news time to spread to all the troops. However, those who signed the armistice could have made it effective immediately so that fighting stopped immediately. War might have gone on in other areas that hadn't gotten the word yet, but then the news would reach those areas and people would stop shooting. Instead, those final hours allowed thousands of men to die in last battles. One estimate put the last-day body count at nearly 11,000.
Who Was the Last Person to Die in the War? The last person to die in active battle in the war was an American named Henry Gunther. He'd been on the front lines among those waiting for the armistice to take effect, but his battalion had been ambushed by German troops. The idea of being caught in this battle just before peace was to take effect was too much for Gunther, apparently, and he charged at the Germans. Gunther was shot and killed one minute before the armistice took effect.
How Did the End of World War I Set the Stage for World War II? By November 18, Germany was so ravaged by war that it had no choice but to agree to terms set by the Allies for surrender. In fact, the Treaty of Versailles, which stated what Germany was going to do to make amends for the war, was drawn up without Germany's input, and the terms ended up being severe and humiliating. Combined with the country's already precarious economic state, the terms of the treaty and the reparations required set off the downward spiral that led many Germans to support the rise of the Nazis. As years went by, Germany gradually stopped following the terms of the treaty.
What Was the Deal With All the Elevens? The peace began on 11/11 at 11 a.m., which has been enough to set off numerology and conspiracy theorists for decades. However, there's really nothing behind all those elevens. It was a coincidence that Germany finally realized it was in dire straits on November 11, and the time of 11 a.m. was, as mentioned, meant to give the news time to spread. Can you name another famous string of numbers that was just a coincidence? Apollo 13, the 13th mission, which launched at 13:13 if you use the military clock, and which experienced the infamous engine explosion on the 13th.