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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a temporary cessation of military action by mutual agreement of the warring parties.

An armistice may be general or local. In a general armistice, military actions cease in the entire theater of war, and the armistice is concluded by the commanders in chief with authorization of their governments. A general armistice usually precedes the conclusion of a peace treaty. Thus, in World War II (1939–45) the United Nations concluded in the period from 1943 to 1945 a general armistice with Italy, Rumania, Finland, Bulgaria, and Hungary. Subsequently, peace treaties were signed with these countries.

A local armistice is established between individual units of the warring parties in a definite sector of the front. It is concluded for a definite period and usually has a special purpose, such as exchange of prisoners or burial of the dead. The 1949 Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War states that parties to the conflict “shall endeavor to conclude local agreements for the removal from besieged or encircled areas, of wounded, sick, infirm, and aged persons, children and maternity cases, and for the passage of … medical personnel and medical equipment on their way to such areas.” If no definite period for the armistice has been established, the warring parties may renew military actions at any time.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The wagon in which the Armistice was signed was ordered destroyed by Hitler.
Another example of an armistice was that signed involving the United States, North Korea and South Korea in 1953, putting the Korean conflict on hold.
Lowry explains that Colonel House not only sought acceptance of the Wilsonian peace program but also wanted to see that the armistice would prevent the Germans from fighting again.
The armistice was debated at great length, and the Supreme War Council eventually asked President Wilson to contact Germany about the draft.