The wagon that ended the war
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The World War I armistice was signed in a train carriage dubbed ‘the wagon that ended the war’. “You had to break the will of the German military, whatever the cost, in November 1918,” says historian Franck Viltard. “This was experienced as a real humiliation for Germany.” But in 1940, it was France’s turn. Hitler wanted to wash away the shame of Germany’s past defeat by humiliating France just as badly. He chose to dictate the terms of France’s surrender in the same train carriage. Camille Nedelec revisits the wagon that played such a central role in European 20th century history.