Champs de Bataille, 1914-1916

At the crossroads between Fort de Vaux, Verdun and Ford de Douaumont, the dying Lion marks the spot of the German furthest advancement. It’s just a hundred meters short of Fort de Soueville, Verdun’s last defense.

The German troops were Bavarian. Hence the Bavarian lion.

Two Hotchkiss machine guns fired from this position, providing additional firepower to the 155mm guns in the disappearing turret.

The entrance to the Fort Souville, heavily bombarded by the Germans.

There were no trees in the area, so the turret guns would have a clear view of the ravines below.

This is the top of the disappearing turret that housed two 155 short-barrel guns. With the 80-ton counterweight, the guns were raised to fire. Then the mechanism would lower them to re-load.

The German bombardment lifted a lot of ground to expose the concrete walls of the gun tower.

This is an observation point

The Hotchkiss guns controlled the ravine in the direction of Fort Douaumont. To avoid them, the German attacked from the left.

The German attack was stopped in the trenches below. It came to bayonet combat.

The famous “Trench of the Bayonets” near Fort de Douaumont. The French soldiers lie below with the rifles still in their hands. Unfortunately, all the original bayonets and even the replacement fake ones have been stolen.  The only thing to see are wooden crosses. The story is here http://www.battledetective.com/casefiles17.html

The Verdun Memorial

The Verdun Ossuary and Cemetery.

After the war, the decision was made to plant a few million trees to cover the destruction. Most of these trees started in the 1920s and continue to propagate naturally.

You must be aware that the area contains an estimated 80,000 unburied French and German soldiers as well as the countless unexploded munitions.

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