So, some years back, I remember watching an absolutely wonderful film called Joyeux Noel, which is apparently based on actual events during World War I (Namely, the Christmas Truce of 1914). I know that various specific elements are at least loosely based on real-life events (e.g. in the DVD extras, they talk about how some soldiers actually used a cat to send messages to the opposing army - and the cat was actually hung for treason, though they decided to leave that last bit out); but I got the sense that the movie...
- probably mixed a lot of anecdotes from different areas of combat, and just condensed them into one area to make a more cohesive story, and
- loosely based the story and individual moments on anecdotes, but used entirely fictional characters (and did a lot of conjecturing around story specifics).
Does anybody know how accurate this impression is and/or generally how accurate the movie was to what happened in real life? (e.g. How much of the specifics were conjecture/fictionalization? Were some of the individual characters actually real people, or were they (nearly) completely fictionalized? Etc.)