La Dépêche du Midi was one of the few newspapers to publish a special edition just hours after the historic signing of the Armistice on November 11, 1918.
104 years ago in the clearing of Rethondes, in Compiègne, the armistice was signed, ending four years of conflict. World War I was coming to an end. La Dépêche du Midi is one of the few newspapers to have published a special edition just hours after the historic signature. In the first edition of the newspaper, our front page evoked the revolution in Germany and headlined “The decline of the Dynasty proclaimed”, ensuring that “Hindenburg’s hour had passed”. We also learn about the progress of the fighting: “the vanquished enemy abandons position and material”; the French have just crossed the Meuse, the British are heading towards Mons”.
As soon as the news of the signing of the armistice became known, the editorial staff of La Dépêche decided to change the front page, which, at the time of the lead, required a lot of work. In the center, occupying the space on 4 columns, our newspaper then proclaims “The conclusion of the armistice” headed by: “The battle is over. The victory is complete” and with the subtitle “Germany accepts our conditions “.
Other newspapers like Le Figaro will only give the news in their November 12 edition. La Dépêche publishes a photo. More exactly a photomontage presenting “The artisans of victory”. We see Georges Clemenceau, the President of the Council who will become Father la Victoire, surrounded by Marshals Joffre and Foch.
“The war is over”
In our edition of November 12, 1918, La Dépêche can return much more extensively to the armistice by headlining on its front page “The war is over” and detailing the conditions of the capitulation. These period editions are still carefully preserved by the Archives department of La Dépêche du Midi, at the headquarters of our newspaper in Toulouse.
We invite you to discover these historic editions of November 11 and 12, 1918 in a montage produced in 2018 during the Centenary of 14-18: