Tag: Verdun

Philippe Pétain is one of the most important but also controversial figures in contemporary French history. His remarkable longevity took him though several pivotal moments in history. Rather an onlooker of events in the first part of his life, he became one of the major exponents of the two world wars. The first brought him glory, the second sealed his downfall.
Until 1914, Pétain’s life, like his military career, was nothing out of the ordinary. Never called up for a foreign operation, the...
There is a special place nearby the Douaumont Ossuary, surrounded by a legend. The area, strategically important as direct access to Souville and then Verdun, now houses a monument, the Bayonet Trench. The story tells that during the Battle of Verdun the German artillery made an entire trench collapse on the heads of the French soldiers, burying them alive, and leaving only the bayonets comes out from the ground. Others argue that the Germans, astonished by the strenght of the soldiers, buried...
Georges Caubet, born in Toulouse and a schoolteacher since 1908, was called up on 4 August 1914 to serve as sergeant of the 67th division of the French army. His diaries preserve the memories of the most significant moments of his military experience including his part in the initial stage of the Battle of Verdun in February-March 1916. He was captured in June 1918 and ended the war as a prisoner in Germany. On his return to France, he went back to teaching and wrote his own account of the war...
Despite the efforts and the very high losses, the German offensive on Verdun led to a stalemate, clashing with tough French resistance. For France Verdun would represent both the symbol of victory in the Great War, and the terrible sacrifices sustained.
The Battle of Verdun, fought between the French and German armies on the Meuse between February and December 1916, was the longest battle of the First World War. This battle of attrition, whose symbolic impact greatly exceeded its strategic and political importance at the time, became the metonymic expression of the horrors of modern warfare.

 
The Great War was a war of long and bloody battles. The blood of soldiers of all the European powers poured on the land border along the edges. 
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