V is for Verdun #atozchallenge

Nineteen-sixteen, The Battle of Verdun
Two vast armies, French and German
The ferocious bombardment
Buried men in the trenches
The bleakest battle of World War One

From spring to winter of 1916, the German and French armies remained locked in combat at Verdun, expending hundreds of thousands of lives in a sustained battle.  In the end, France could claim a defensive victory, but a huge price had been paid.  – The Smithsonian; Visual History of World War One

French Casualties:  315,000–542,000 (156,000–162,000 killed) February–December 1916

German Casualties:  281,000–434,000 (c. 143,000 killed) February–December 1916

“Certainly humanity has gone mad!  It must be mad to do what it’s doing.  Such slaughter! Such scenes of horror and carnage!  — Lieutenant Alfred Joubaire, diary entry at Verdun, May 22,1916

I am intensely interested in the history of the Great War.  My great-grandfather fought with the Scottish regiments in France.  He suffered from the lingering effects of the gas attacks and died early as a result.  I’ve been compiling research that will eventually go into a novel I’m working on.  Parts of it have been published here on my blog.  There is much more to come.

20 thoughts on “V is for Verdun #atozchallenge

  1. Very interesting. I always loved my grandparents’ fascinating stories. I think that is what I miss most now that they’re all gone. When I was in junior high, we had an autobiography project — I learned so much about my family history. I lived that project. I still think my great great grandfather who was in the “Italian Secret Police” is code for mafia. But I’ll never know…

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    1. This war fascinates me because it’s almost unexplainable. There were so many opportunities for all parties to pull back and talk and none of them ever did. Total war. Fight to the death. It boggles the mind.

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      1. It does indeed! My fascination is with the Indian and Civil Wars – I love to visit old battlefields and walk them. At tins I swear you can feel the energy there

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