Primary Documents - German Report on Russo-German Armistice Negotiations, 5 December 1917

Max Hoffmann, who led the German armistice delegation Reproduced below is the text of Leon Trotsky's report on the progress of negotiations with Germany for a preliminary armistice in early December 1917.

Trotsky's negotiations were conducted exclusively with German Army officers; consequently his repeated demands that an armistice be widened to include all armies on all fronts was rebuffed with the claim that such a discussion was outside the realm of army officers.  Their brief was solely to negotiate an armistice with Russia and no other country.

Click here to read a memoir recounting the initial armistice discussions.  Click here to read Leon Trotsky's report on the progress of armistice negotiations  Click here to read the text of the preliminary armistice signed on 16 December 1917.

Office German Report on Armistice Negotiations of 5 December 1917

Yesterday the authorized representatives of the chief army administrations of Germany, Austria-Hungary, Turkey, and Bulgaria concluded in writing with the authorized representatives of the Russian chief army administration a suspension of hostilities for ten days for the whole of the mutual fronts.  The commencement is fixed for Friday noon.

The ten days' period will be utilized for bringing to a conclusion negotiations for an armistice.  For the purpose of reporting verbally regarding the present results, a portion of the members of the Russian deputation has returned home.

The sittings of the commission continue.

Source: Source Records of the Great War, Vol. V, ed. Charles F. Horne, National Alumni 1923

Russia mobilised 12 million men during the war; France 8.4 million; Britain 8.9 million; Germany 11 million; Austria-Hungary 7.8 million; Italy 5.6 million; and the USA 4.3 million.

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Primary Docs