The Furnace of Verdun

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“…Beyond, in the valley, dark masses are moving over the snow covered ground. It is the German infantry advancing in packed formation. They look like a big grey carpet being unrolled over the country.

There is a whistle over our heads. It is the first shell. It falls right in the middle of the enemy infantry… through glass we can see men maddened, men covered with earth and blood, falling one upon the other. When the first wave is decimated, the ground is dotted with corpses, but the second wave is already pressing on. Once more our shells carve awful gaps in their ranks, then our heavy artillery bursts forth with fury. The whole valley is turned into a volcano, and its exit is blocked by the barrier of the slain.”

Account from anonymous French officer on the opening days of the Battle of Verdun.

WW1Jason Rubino