November 11, 1918, marks the end of the First World War, with the armistice signed between the forces of the Entente and Germany. Of course, this act was preceded by a series of events and circumstances. After the success of the Allied forces on the western and southern fronts in early autumn 1918, and their important role in the breakthrough of the Macedonian Front, Germany and Austria-Hungary realized that the war was coming to an end and, among other things, that they were no longer able to defend their positions to the south. On 4 November, Austria-Hungary leaves the Triple Alliance and signs the armistice next to Padova (in northeastern Italy).
Although the agreement focuses mainly on the front in Italy, some of its provisions had a much wider impact and contribute to the general breakdown of the Triple Alliance forces. A few days earlier, on 30 October, in the port of Lemnos, the Ottoman Empire signed an armistice with the Entente, ending military action in the Middle East. On the Danube, where the Allied armies found themselves after the successes on the Macedonian Front, a new major offensive (from 9 November) was prepared against Mackensen's German army, again forced to withdraw through Hungary to Germany. Apart from these military events, and in order to understand the situation at that time, we need to focus on the internal context in Germany, which was very important. Due to the negative effects of the long war, citizens were dissatisfied: political unrest and demonstrations took place, the navy rebelled and refused to carry out its tasks (Wilhelmshaven, Kiel). All this triggered the November Revolution in Germany. On November 9th, Emperor Wilhelm II abdicated. Finally, on 8 November 1918, the military leaders of the warring parties met in the Compiègne forest (north-eastern France) and, after three days of negotiations, Germany accepted the conditions of the allies. The armistice was signed in the rail car of Marshal Ferdinand Foch, the commander-in-chief of the Allied forces, at 6 a. m., and came into effect at 11 a. m. Amongst other things, it was planned to withdraw German troops from Germany, exchange prisoners, destroy German warships and submarines, hand over German military equipment, stop German naval supplies, etc. It was also planned that the German troops would be able to return to Germany in the near future. Although the 11 November armistice ended the military operations, negotiations and the signing of a peace agreement were postponed until the following year. Numerous representatives of the warring parties participated in the International Peace Conference in Paris in 1919. The final peace was ratified on 10 January 1920. Today, November 11 is celebrated in many countries such as Armistice Day and the end of the First World War.