Panorami

The undulating terrain formed by shells and some ruined German bunkers, remain to witness the battles of the "Hill 60", a small hill near Ypres, Belgium, around which took place heavy fighting between German and British troops. The hill no longer exists, paved by violent bombings.It was lost and recaptured four times during the war and there were detonated seven high potential mines. Like many other places of the Great War, it is the destination of many visits of tourists and relatives of the fallen from all over the Anglo-Saxon world.

 

The German war cemetery of Langemarck, which contains the graves of about 44,000 dead Germans. The cemetery is dominated by sculptures of Emil Krieger representing a group of soldiers, with his helmet in his hands, watching over fallen comrades. The area has a special relevance within Germany because of a popular bulletin issued by the German high command during the first months of the war, on 11th November 1914: "To the west of Langemarck young regiments, accompanied by the singing of Deutschland, Deutschland über alles, attacked and conquered the first line of the enemy." The bloody battle and the subsequent report, gave rise to a myth characterized by the cult of the fallen heroes and youth mobilization for war. A myth which has been fully taken up by the National Socialist propaganda between the two world wars.

The ruins of the village of Ornes, which now remain only the ruins of the church. During the battle of Verdun numerous villages that stood in the "no man's land" between the two fires were destroyed. Ornes, which in 1911 had more than 700 inhabitants, today do not count that as 6. Other like Bezonvaux, Fleury and Luovemont remained uninhabited, never rebuilt and were later declared "villages died for France".

The ossuary of Douaumont , where are buried about 15000 fighters of the French army. It is near the eponymous village, completely destroyed during the Battle of Verdun and never rebuilt. Started in 1920, the monument reproduces the stylized shape of a giant sword stuck in the ground, which shows only the handle. Together with fighters of Catholic faith, cemetery collects the fallen Muslims, with the graves facing Mecca, and a small monument to soldiers of Jewish faith. Not far away from the ossuary are the ruins of the Ouvrage de Thiaumont with grenade craters and bunkers destroyed by battle.

The fort of Douaumont. Bunkers, towers and remnants of barbed wire are witnessing the hellish battle of Verdun. The Douaumont was one of the main strongholds of the fortress of Verdun: with an area of ​​30000 square meters, about 400 meters long and equipped with two levels underground, was one of the most equipped fortresses in Europe. The heavy armor of the fort made up for the relatively small armament, that consisted in a 155 mm rotating/retractable gun turret, a 75 mm gun rotating/retractable gun turret, four other 75 mm guns in casemates and several machinegun turrets. The French general staff, however, after the brilliant German successes against the Belgian forts, downplayed the importance of Douaumont, so much so that at the beginning of the battle of Verdun the fort was practically disarmed and guarded by a reduced garrison . On 25 February 1916, the fort was easily captured by a small group of German engineers: its reconquest became a question of national pride for the French. Despite several months of continued bombings, German troops held the Douaumont until October 24, when under fire from two huge French 400mm railway howitzers the fort was recaptured by the Moroccan colonial troops.

The monumentality of the Commonwealth war cemetery of Tyne Cot, near Ypres, which includes about 12,000 dead, of which more than eight thousand unknown. A hundred years after the battles around Ypres, it is still a destination for many visits - from all over the world - of people searching for their loved ones who died in war.

A few kilometers from La Boiselle, in Picardy (France) , July 1, 1916 the British Royal Engineers detonated a landmine - loaded with 26 tons of explosives - under the Schwabenhöhe: the Battle of the Somme was began. 

Fort Belvedere, unlike other forts built in the plateaus had a "shattered structure", made ​​up of various blocks excavated into the mountain: the main bunker - that housed the quarters for the garrison, the ammunition depot and warehouses - the battery of howitzers, the counterscarp of the ditch (in the overview) and three armored outposts. To withstand the heaviest bombing it was equipped with a coverage of more than two and a half meters of concrete which was added a triple layer of steel beams by 400 mm.

The cemetery was built at 1,280 meters above sea level, close to an Austro-Hungarian military hospital. It houses the remains of 748 dead in clashes on the Plateaus between 1916 and 1918.

The Fort Colle delle Benne, near the town of Levico, is one of the Austro-Hungarian border fortresses built in Vogl style in the last third of the nineteenth century. Built between 1880 and 1882 together with the Fort Tenna,  the fort was armed with two M 05 howitzers of 10 cm  in armored turrets, and four M 80 cannons of 12 cm in armored pillboxes. During World War I the Fort, too far from the front line and outdated to withstand the new and powerful artillery, was disarmed and used as a depot. It has been dismantled in the early '30s to recover iron structures.

The main armament of the fort Belvedere consisted of a battery of three Turmhaubitze TH M9 by 10 cm (100 mm caliber), protected by armored rotating turrets on steel, with a thickness of 250 mm. Although the 10 cm proves quite small, it was chosen in view of the fact that the Austrian forts had a predominantly defensive purpose. Also, a small caliber allowed to have greater reserves of ammunition and gave added strength to the structure.