The most amazing Christmas story involving game theory

Written by Barry Hughes Monday, 19 December 2011 21:14
Rate this item
(1 vote)

With Christmas fast approaching it is nice to look back on an amazing piece of co-operation that took place nearly 100 years ago.

Imagine that it is Christmas Eve 1914 and you are a British solider sitting, cold and wet, in a muddy trench in northern France.

The first World War has been raging since the summer and you have already seen many of your friends and comrades killed.

As you sit thinking about your family back in England you hear the faint sound of voices singing Christmas carols.

At first you think that it must be some of the other British soldiers further down your trench, but, as you listen harder you realise that the voices you can hear are German not British.

You climb out into the cold of the night and, with other men starting to wake up, you stare at each other disbelievingly. One of the officers climbs a ladder to the top of the trench and peers over the top.

‘There’s lights on the German trenches, it looks like candles. I can’t see properly, they look like they’re just floating in mid-air. No, wait a minute, they’ve put up Christmas trees with candles on. And now they’re singing carols.’

You can’t believe what you’re hearing, Christmas trees and carols, just 60 yards away in a trench occupied by the enemy.

To readmore, check out Barry's ever excellent blog @
Last modified on Monday, 19 December 2011 21:23

Add comment