battle background

the battle of Verdun was a battle between German and French troops in Verdun, France, from February to December 1916.

during World War I, when the German army won a major victory in the battle against Russia on the eastern front, in order to defeat the British and French troops as soon as possible, its main direction of attack turned back to the western front and was determined to conquer Verdun, the strategic place held by the French army first. However, contrary to their wishes, the German army not only failed to capture Verdun, but also suffered a tragic failure, which greatly weakened the strength of the allies and rapidly transformed the battlefield situation in favor of the allies.

Verdun is about 50 kilometers away from the French German border. It is the Northeast portal of the French capital Paris and the prominent part of the defense line of the Allied forces. It poses a great threat to the German army’s penetration into France and Belgium. It is also a strong stronghold to Paris and the hub of the French military front. From February to December 1916, the German army and the French army fought in the fortified area of Verdun, France. Due to the tragic destruction and huge casualties, it was called the battle of “meat grinder” by military historians.

at the beginning of 1916, the German command planned to conduct defense on the eastern line and concentrate its forces to attack the Verdun protrusion of the French army on the western line, so as to contain and consume the main force of the French army and force France to surrender. It is planned to capture the Verdun area with the 5th group army. According to the plan, the breakthrough will be implemented in the front narrow section (15 km wide). In the main assault direction, the German army launched six and a half divisions of the 7th, 18th and 3rd armies face-to-face in two French divisions, with 879 artillery and 202 mortars. In order to conceal the direction of the main Turkistan, the German Army decided to carry out 8.5-hour impact artillery preparation with all the artillery of the group army in the front with a width of 40 kilometers. The air force is used to bomb the targets behind the enemy and strafe the French troops on the defensive positions. The 5th army covered its left wing; The 15th army carried out auxiliary assault 6 kilometers south of the ORN River, and the 6th army took containment action on the West Bank of the Meuse River. After the battle of

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, the German army launched an attack at 7:15 on February 21. In order to hide the direction of the main Turkistan, the German artillery shelled at the front of 40 kilometers wide at the same time. The air force bombed the French positions for the first time, destroying some defensive positions and killing a large number of effective forces. At 1645, the German infantry attacked and occupied the first position on the same day. In the following four days (February 22-25), they attacked and occupied two positions and the fort Du omun, advancing 5km, but failed to break through the French line of defense. When attacking, the infantry adopts a deep combat formation, advances in waves with the scattered line, and the front is a strong attack group. On February 25, the French army command ordered the second group army to go to war and transport troops and materials through the baldijk Verdun Road (also known as the “sacred road”). And mobilized all available troops to fight the German army in Verdun. On the 26th, bedang ordered the recapture of Fort Du ommon. After four days of fierce fighting, the French army suffered heavy losses and failed. From February 27 to March 6, 190000 soldiers and more than 25000 tons of military supplies were transported by car along the road. This is the first example of large-scale automobile transportation. A large number of French reinforcements entered the battle in time, strengthened defense in depth and had a significant impact on the campaign process. From March 5, the front of the attack expanded to 30 kilometers. The German army turned the main assault to the left bank of the Meuse River (MAS River), and changed from a quick attack to a steady attack, but it did not work. By the end of March, the German army had consumed a lot of ammunition, and the strategic reserve team did not arrive in time, resulting in a sharp reduction in attack power, thus losing the opportunity to break through the French defense line.

from March 5, the German army expanded the front of the attack and shifted the direction of the main outburst to the West Bank of the Meuse River in an attempt to occupy heights 304 and 295, lift the threat of French artillery in the West Bank and surround Verdun from the West; At the same time, it continued to strengthen the offensive on the east bank, changing from a hasty attack to a steady attack. However, it was tenaciously resisted by the French army and occupied only a few small strongholds after paying huge casualties. After 70 days and nights (February to April), the German army pushed a total of 6-7 kilometers. The battle of Verdun became a war of attrition. Both sides continue to invest new forces. 4. In May, the German army concentrated its forces and weapons, including the use of flamethrowers, asphyxiating poison gas and bombers, to carry out key raids on the French army in the West Bank. However, after the infantry entered the front line of 304 and 295 heights, they were fiercely counterattacked by French artillery and stopped the attack at the end of May. On the east coast, the French army frequently rotated combat troops, constantly carried out counterattacks, repeatedly competed with the German army, and delayed the German attack. At the beginning of June, the German army launched a large-scale offensive again. After seven days of fierce fighting, it cut off the connection between Voorburg and other positions of the French army, forcing the defenders of Voorburg to surrender on the 7th. In late June, the German army stormed suviye fort with phosgene suffocation gas bombs and tear gas bombs for the first time, firing 110000 poison gas bombs on the front of 4 kilometers wide, causing heavy casualties to the French army. It once reached less than 3 kilometers away from Verdun, but was eventually repulsed.

in June 1916, the Russian army made a successful breakthrough on the southwest front. In July, the allies launched an attack on the Somme river. In August, the French army launched an anti assault. All this forced the German command to turn to defense around Verdun (September 2). The German army fought for six and a half months, and only the wedge man defense was 7-10 kilometers deep, which failed to achieve a battle breakthrough. On August 29, falkenhain was dismissed and field marshal Hindenburg took over as the German chief of general staff. On September 2, the German Emperor approved to stop the attack. On October 24, the French army turned to the counter offensive. By December 18, the French army had recovered the fort Du omun and Fort wo. By December 21, the French army moved forward to the area they had defended on February 25. Germany’s strategic plan to force France to withdraw from the war in 1916 was bankrupt in World War I near Verdun.

evaluation of

the battle of Verdun ended in the defeat of the German army. This decisive battle was not only the turning point of World War I, but also the beginning of the gradual failure of the German Empire. In addition, the experience of combining field fortifications with permanent fortifications in the Verdun campaign has become a basis for most European countries to build fortification areas in the border areas after the first World War. Plus this war