File No. 763.72119/9055

The Special Representative ( House ) to the Secretary of State

[Telegram]

46. For the President:

The following are the terms of the military and naval armistice that have been agreed upon. It is understood that the terms of armistice are not to be made public until Germany has agreed to them. The duty of communicating them to Germany has been entrusted to Marshal Foch and a British Admiral.

Conditions of an Armistice with Germany 1

A. Military clauses on western front

1. Cessation of operations by land and in the air six hours after the signature of the armistice.

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2. Immediate evacuation of invaded countries: Belgium, France, Alsace-Lorraine, Luxemburg, so ordered as to be completed within 14 days from the signature of the armistice.

German troops which have not left the above-mentioned territories within the period fixed will become prisoners of war.

Occupation by the Allied and United States forces jointly will keep pace with evacuation in these areas.

All movements of evacuation and occupation will be regulated in accordance with a note (annexure l 1).

3. Repatriation, beginning at once, to be completed within 14 days, of all inhabitants of the countries above enumerated (including hostages, persons under trial or convicted).

4. Surrender in good condition by the German armies of the following equipment:

  • 5,000 guns (2,500 heavy, 2,500 field)
  • 30,000 machine guns
  • 3,000 minenwerfer
  • 2,000 aeroplanes (fighters, bombers—firstly D.–7’s—and night bombing machines)

The above to be delivered in situ to the Allied and United States troops in accordance with the detailed conditions laid down in the note (annexure 1).

5. Evacuation by the German armies of the countries on the left bank of the Rhine. These countries on the left bank of the Rhine shall be administered by the local authorities under the control of the Allied and United States armies of occupation.

The occupation of these territories will be carried out by Allied and United State garrisons holding the principal crossings of the Rhine (Mayence, Coblenz, Cologne) together with bridgeheads at these points of a 30–kilometer radius on the right bank and by garrisons similarly holding the strategic points of the regions.

A neutral zone shall be reserved on the right bank of the Rhine between the stream and a line drawn parallel to it 40 kilometers to the east from the frontier of Holland to the parallel of Gernsheim and at a distance of 30 kilometers only east of the stream from this parallel up to the Swiss frontier.

Evacuation by the enemy of the Rhinelands shall be so ordered as to be completed within a further period of 11 days, in all, 25 days after the signature of the armistice.

All movements of evacuation and occupation will be regulated according to the note (annexure 1).

6. In all territory evacuated by the enemy there shall be no evacuation of inhabitants; no damage or harm shall be done to the persons or property of the inhabitants.

No destruction of any kind to be committed.

Military establishments of all kinds shall be delivered intact, as well as military stores of food, munitions, equipment not removed during the periods fixed for evacuation.

Stores of food of all kinds for the civil population, cattle, etc., shall be left in situ.

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Industrial establishments shall not be impaired in any way and their personnel shall not be moved.

7. Roads and means of communication of every kind, railroads, waterways, main roads, bridges, telegraphs, telephones, shall be in no manner impaired.

All civil and military personnel at present employed on them shall remain.

5,000 locomotives, 150,000 wagons and 10,000 motor lorries in good working order with all necessary spare parts and fittings shall be delivered to the Associated Powers within the period fixed for the evacuation of Belgium and Luxemburg.

The railways of Alsace-Lorraine shall be handed over within the same period together with all pre-war personnel and material.

Further, material necessary for the working of railways in the country on the left bank of the Rhine shall be left in situ.

All stores of coal and material for upkeep of permanent way, signals, and repair shops shall be left in situ and kept in an efficient state by Germany during the whole period of the armistice.

All barges taken from the Allies shall be restored to them; the note appended as annexure 21 regulates the detail of these measures.

8. The German Command shall be responsible for revealing all mines or delay action fuses disposed on territory evacuated by the German troops and shall assist in their discovery and destruction.

The German Command shall also reveal all destructive measures that may have been taken (such as poisoning or pollution of springs, wells, etc.), under penalty of reprisals.

9. The right of requisition shall be exercised by the Allied and United States armies in all occupied territory.

The upkeep of the troops of occupation in the Rhineland (excluding Alsace-Lorraine) shall be charged to the German Government.

10. The immediate repatriation, without reciprocity, according to detailed conditions which shall be fixed, of all Allied and United States prisoners of war. The Allied Powers and the United States of America shall be able to dispose of these prisoners as they wish.

11. Sick and wounded who cannot be removed from evacuated territory will be cared for by German personnel who will be left on the spot with the medical material required.

B. Dispositions relative to the eastern frontiers of Germany

12. All German troops at present in any territory which before the war belonged to Russia, Roumania or Turkey shall withdraw within the frontiers of Germany as they existed on August 1, 1914.

13. Evacuation by German troops to begin at once and all German instructors, prisoners, and civilian as well as military agents now on the territory of Russia (as defined on August 1, 1914) to be recalled.

14. German troops to cease at once all requisitions and seizures and any other undertaking with a view to obtaining supplies intended for Germany in Roumania and Russia (as defined on August 1, 1914).

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15. Abandonment of the treaties of Bucharest and Brest-Litovsk and of the supplementary treaties.

16. The Allies shall have free access to the territories evacuated by the Germans on their eastern frontier, either through Danzig or by the Vistula, in order to convey supplies to the populations of those territories or for any other purpose.

C. Clause concerning East Africa

17. Unconditional capitulation of all German forces operating in East Africa, within one month.

D. General clauses

18. Repatriation, without reciprocity, within a maximum period of one month, in accordance with detailed conditions hereafter to be fixed, of all civilians interned or deported who may be citizens of other Allied or Associated states than those mentioned in clause 3.

19. With the reservation that any future claims and demands of the Allies and United States of America remain unaffected, the following financial conditions are required:

Reparation for damage done.

While the armistice lasts no public securities shall be removed by the enemy which can serve as a pledge to the Allies for the recovery or reparation for war losses.

Immediate restitution of the cash deposit in the National Bank of Belgium and, in general, immediate return of all documents, specie, stock, shares, paper money together with plant for the issue thereof, touching public or private interests in the invaded countries.

Restitution of the Russian and Roumanian gold yielded to Germany or taken by that power.

This gold to be delivered in trust to the Allies until the signature of peace.

E. Naval conditions

20. Immediate cessation of all hostilities at sea and definite information to be given as to the location and movements of all German ships.

Notification to be given to neutrals that freedom of navigation in all territorial waters is given to the naval and mercantile marines of the Allied and Associated Powers, all questions of neutrality being waived.

21. All naval and mercantile marine prisoners of war of the Allied and Associated Powers in German hands to be returned, without reciprocity.

22. Surrender to the Allies and the United States of America of 160 German submarines (including all submarine cruisers and mine-laying submarines) with their complete armament and equipment, in ports which will be specified by the Allies and the United States of America. All other submarines to be paid off and completely disarmed and placed under the supervision of the Allies and the United States of America.

23. The following German surface warships, which shall be designated by the Allies and the United States of America, shall forthwith be disarmed and thereafter interned in neutral ports to be [Page 467] designated by the Allies and the United States of America, and placed under the surveillance of the Allies and the United States of America, only caretakers being left on board, namely:

  • 6 battle cruisers
  • 10 battleships
  • 8 light cruisers, including 2 mine layers
  • 50 destroyers of the most modern types

All other surface warships (including river craft) are to be concentrated in German naval bases to be designated by the Allies and the United States of America, and are to be paid on and completely disarmed and placed under the supervision of the Allies and the United States of America. All vessels of the auxiliary fleet (trawlers, motor vessels, etc.) are to be disarmed.

24. The Allies and the United States of America shall have the right to sweep up all mine fields and obstructions laid by Germany outside German territorial waters, and the positions of these are to be indicated.

25. Freedom of access to and from the Baltic to be given to the naval and mercantile marines of the Allied and Associated Powers. To secure this the Allies and the United States of America shall be empowered to occupy all German forts, fortifications, batteries and defense works of all kinds in all the entrances from the Cattegat into the Baltic, and to sweep up all mines and obstructions within and without German territorial waters without any questions of neutrality being raised, and the positions of all such mines and obstructions are to be indicated.

26. The existing blockade conditions set up by the Allied and Associated Powers are to remain unchanged, and all German merchant ships found at sea are to remain liable to capture.

27. All naval aircraft are to be concentrated and immobilized in German bases to be specified by the Allies and the United States of America.

28. In evacuating the Belgian coasts and ports, Germany shall abandon all merchant ships, tugs, lighters, cranes and all other harbor materials, all materials for inland navigation, all aircraft and air materials and stores, all arms and armaments, and all stores and apparatus of all kinds.

29. All Black Sea ports are to be evacuated by Germany; all Russian warships of all descriptions seized by Germany in the Black Sea are to handed over to the Allies and the United States of America; all neutral merchant ships seized are to be released; all warlike and other materials of all kinds seized in those ports are to be returned and German materials as specified in clause 28 are to be abandoned.

30. All merchant ships in German hands belonging to the Allied and Associated Powers are to be restored in ports to be specified by the Allies and the United States of America without reciprocity.

31. No destruction of ships or of materials to be permitted before evacuation, surrender or restoration.

32. The German Government shall formally notify the neutral governments of the world, and particularly the Governments of Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Holland, that all restrictions placed [Page 468] on the trading of their vessels with the Allied and Associated countries, whether by the German Government or by private German interests, and whether in return for specific concessions such as the export of shipbuilding materials or not, are immediately canceled.

33. No transfers of German merchant shipping of any description to any neutral flag are to take place after signature of the armistice.

F. Duration of armistice

34. The duration of the armistice is to be 30 days, with option to extend. During this period, on failure of execution of any of the above clauses, the armistice may be denounced by one of the contracting parties, on 48 hours’ previous notice.

G. Time limit for reply

35. This armistice to be accepted or refused by Germany within 72 hours of notification.

Edward House
  1. Telegraphic text brought into accord with the final text appended to the minutes of the Supreme War Council, Nov. 4, 1918 (File No. 763.72Su/109).
  2. Not printed.
  3. Not printed.