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The rebels have won almost nothing from the negotiations so far, but they say they have little choice. The two main rebel forces in the suburbs signed ceasefires with Russia in the summer, but fighting has carried on. Both said they have been talking to Russian officials regularly for several months.

This is the reality. The Russian defence and foreign ministries did not respond to requests for comment on the talks. Moscow says the reconciliation centre at its air base in Syria routinely holds peace talks with armed factions across the country. But the insurgents want their enemies to observe the truce, which they say includes lifting the siege, opening crossings, and letting dying patients out.

Both factions accuse Moscow of not honouring the deals, or turning a blind eye to Syrian army violations. Then these planes flying over the Ghouta, who do they belong to? Monitors and opposition activists blame Russian bombing for thousands of civilian deaths and much of the destruction - allegations Moscow denies.

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From mid the army in the field was mainly composed of volunteer battalions and later conscripts as well , they were not integrated into the professional army in the way soldiers were elsewhere, so the concept of 'live and let live' in quiet times was not passed on. This makes sense as a reason, but is difficult to verify.

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He has found plenty of evidence, some oblique and many of them from the postal censors records. He lists them all, which makes this chapter quite repetitive, but he needs to, this is primary evidence and it is difficult to establish an overall picture without it. Fraternisation in quiet sectors away from major offensives by either side started early in the war and increased. Old soldiers passed on to new recruits how things worked, those moving out of the line told their relief what to expect.

This all seems to have worked quite well, although it was all unofficial.

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Olaf Mueller looks at several fronts from both sides where Germans and Austro-Hungarians were involved. He considers the legal situation facing soldiers and includes some accounts from courts martial as well as notebooks, diaries, letters and memoirs. The German military authorities went to some trouble to define the terms of trench warfare and the differences between an actual battle and the day-to-day situation of soldiers facing each other across no-man's-land.

The Legend of What Actually Lived in the “No Man’s Land” Between World War I’s Trenches

They never authorised fraternisation, but their attitude was more pragmatic than in other military commands. Italian penalties were harsh, but even there not as harsh as they could have been. British and French accounts usually state that fraternisation initiatives were always instigated by the German side. They then responded with reciprocal agreements. This may not be entirely true, what was tacitly allowed by each country could dictate what they reported.

Olaf Mueller's next subject concerns reporting of such events after the war.

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These were almost always distorted by political considerations and not considered to be either pragmatic or spontaneous, if they were admitted at all. This was interesting, but very sad. Marc Ferro then covers the Eastern Front, both before and after the Russian Revolution, in a short, informative, but sometimes confusing chapter.

As elsewhere, almost all the fraternisation initiatives were instigated by the Germans and were localised. The Russian command's response was typically brutal, shelling and machine-gunning both the friendly Germans and their own troops. The Revolution and the setting up of soldier's Soviets did not cause an end to the fighting. The ordinary soldiers now had a stake in the country they were fighting and dying for. Officers who would not fall in with the new organisation were seen as the enemy as much as the invading Germans however, so there was an increase in mutiny against the military leadership.

The reformed army launched an offensive in The situation was complex and constantly changing. This book covers a lot of material, the list of sources is huge. It is a scholarly work and I learnt a lot from it. The division into separate chapters by different authors works, but does make the book less coherent in style. I found it less repetitive and more concise than the Weintraub book, and much more comprehensive and analytical.

Jan 03, Pink rated it it was ok. This book had some very interesting stories and to begin with I was very moved An important piece of history, but for me this was not executed in the best way.

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View all 3 comments. John Dedio rated it did not like it May 03, Maurice Field rated it really liked it Nov 08, Andy Turton rated it it was amazing Aug 15, Andrei Neagoe rated it it was amazing Mar 20, Daniel rated it really liked it Aug 14, David Ashworth rated it it was amazing Jul 15, Richard Maynard rated it it was amazing Dec 09, Adam Preston rated it really liked it Dec 28, Amanda Price rated it it was amazing Sep 29, Adam rated it it was amazing Apr 19, Ruth Deacon rated it really liked it Aug 03, Recent ceasefire violations and the beheading of an Indian soldier near LoC have escalated tensions between India and Pakistan, disrupting cross-LoC travel and trade.

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We desperately want to go back as our kids there are suffering," says Abdul Rehman Sabar, Talia's father. He owns a travel agency in Islamabad and shuttles between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. A member of the Sabar family had migrated to Pakistan in Abdul had to cancel many of his business meetings as well.

I had to cancel all my travel plans as well," he claims. Abdul, who is also a keen observer of politics, feels that dialogue is the only option to solve all disputes. He, along with 17 members of his family, was part of the first group that travelled in the 'peace bus' from Rawlakote to Poonch in This time, many people from Pakistan who came to Poonch via LoC are stranded in different areas waiting for opening of the road.