Monday, August 15, 2016

60th Anniversary of The Battle at Verdun 12.6.1976

In June this year (2016) the Centenary of the Battle of Verdun was solemnly observed. This FDC takes us back 40 years to the 60th Anniversary of one of the deadliest battles of all time – The Battle of Verdun.

The Battle of Verdun fought from 21 February to 18 December 1916, was one of the largest and longest battles of the First World War on the Western Front between the German and French armies. The battle took place on the hills north of Verdun-sur-Meuse in north-eastern France. The German 5th Army attacked the defences of the Région Fortifiée de Verdun (RFV) and those of the French Second Army on the right bank of the Meuse. Inspired by the experience of the Second Battle of Champagne the year before, the Germans planned to rapidly capture the Meuse Heights, providing them with an excellent defensive position that would also allow them to bombard Verdun with observed artillery fire. The Germans hoped that the French would commit their strategic reserve to recapture the position and suffer catastrophic losses in a battle of attrition, as the Germans would have a tactical advantage.

An estimate in 2000 found a total of 714,231 casualties, 377,231 French and 337,000 German, an average of 70,000 casualties a month; other recent estimates increase the number of casualties to976,000, with 1,250,000 suffered at Verdun during the war. The Battle of Verdun lasted for 303 daysand became the longest and one of the most costly battles in human history.

Thank you Merja.

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