Veterans Day 2012, marked the 94th year since the signing of the Armistice, which on "the eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month" silenced the guns of the First World War. That conflict is famous for having ushered in modern warfare, introducing an industrial level of carnage, thanks to the use of such advanced weaponry as the machine gun, the flamethrower, poison gas, the airplane, and the tank. Less known, is how it resurrected the ancient battlefield arts of hand-to-hand combat, and gave birth to what would eventually be known as
. The early days of the war quickly revealed how limited 19th century military tactics were against the new weapons of the 20th century. Entire armies of charging soldiers found themselves trapped in barbed wire, gunned down by machine guns and rifle fire, blown up by artillery shells or land mines, and choked upon poisonous gases - without ever coming into close contact with the enemy. Within a few months of the start of hostilities, all of the Western Front was caught in a stalemate, as the dreaded "trench warfare" soon took over the battlefield. This equilibrium led to the rise of what Robert Axelrod termed the "live-and-let-live system" in which the opposing front line soldiers came to an understanding, a tacit truce, in which each side found it prudent to restrain from aggressive actions, for fear of triggering a reprisal.