Battle of Verdun 1916

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by Gisel98
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Social Studies
World War I

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Battle of Verdun 1916


"Woe betide anyone who fell into the hands of the enemy alive; all sense of humanity had disappeared. Soldiers, wounded, stretcher-bearers – a distinction was no longer made." - Louis Barthas

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Marshal Joseph Jacques Césaire Joffre, was a French general, who served as Commander-in-Chief of French forces on the Western Front from the start of World War I until the end of 1916. He is best known for regrouping the retreating allied armies to defeat the Germans at the strategically decisive First Battle of the Marne in September 1914.Joffre's political position weakened after the enormous French losses of 1915, and after further losses at Verdun in 1916, where the Germans initially made good progress against fortifications which had had their guns removed for use elsewhere. Rumours circulated in Paris that Joffre had ordered the abandonment of Verdun when the Germans first attacked. Joffre himself had been mooted for the job.

German Army Chief of Staff erich von Falkenhan’s stated intention was to "bleed France white" in the latter's defence of Verdun. He served as a General Staff during the first two years of World War I. He became a military writer after World War I.

Erich von

Joseph Joffre

On December 18th, the Germans finally accepted the defeat. It was a long brutal battle due to the strength of both armies. At first the Germans thought that it would be easy but they soon learned that it wouldn’t be due to the resources that began to grow thin and numbers began diminishing, allowing France to recapture its territory.

On February 21, 1916, the longest battle of World War 1 began.The battle began and continued until December 16th, 1916. The battle was caused when the Germans decided to launch a massive attack on a narrow stretch of land that had historic sentiment for the French - Verdun. Twenty major forts and forty minor ones surrounded Verdun. The Germans plan was made through the assumption that the French wouldn’t live to see the forts fall. In doing this, the Germans would kill as many men as possible and hope that this battle would change the course of the war.


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