verdun battle ww1

Verdun Battle WW1 By: Felicia Leibbrand

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Verdun Battle WW1. By: Felicia Leibbrand. The preparations before the Battle of Verdun (December 1915 - 12 February 1916). The German army had to march right through Belgium in a large curve and then encircle and defeat the French army, as well as allied England, with its rightwing. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


Page 1: Verdun Battle WW1

Verdun Battle WW1

By: Felicia Leibbrand

Page 2: Verdun Battle WW1

The preparations before the Battle of Verdun (December 1915 - 12 February


• The German army had to march right through Belgium in a large curve and then encircle and defeat the French army, as well as allied England, with its rightwing.

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• In 1915 almost everyone, however, was convinced that the war would be over soon. Attempts were made to move the front and try to force a final breakthrough. England attacked in Neuve Chapelle, Aubers Ridge, Festubert, Ypres and in Loos.

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The beginning of the battle

• The attack on Verdun (the Germans code-named it 'Judgment') came about because of a plan by the German Chief of General Staff, Von Falkenhayn. He wanted to “bleed France white” by launching a massive German attack on a narrow stretch of land that had historic sentiment for the French.

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The German offensive (21 Feb. - 2 March)

• The attack on Verdun was originally planned on Saturday 12 February. On the night of the 11th /12th of February the German troops were placed in position. The German infantry was waiting in their 'stollen', thousands at a time, for the starting signal.

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Battle Days • Monday morning 21

February 7.15. The heaviest bombing that had thus far ever taken place in a war starts over the entire Verdun front on the left and right side of the river Meuse and had a frontal latitude of 40 kilometres.

• Tuesday - 22 February. The fierce shootings start again, if possible even more intense than the day before.

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• Despite the crisis situation in Verdun, the French headquarters receive positive information; the German offence is supposed to be weakening and counterattacks would be made.

• In the evening the chief of the central army group, general Langle de Cary, calls and delivers a very pessimistic report.

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• Friday - 25 February. The battle rages on and the French withdraw, sometimes uncoordinated and panicking, further and further.

• The fort’s entrances are poorly defended, because the French troops are withdrawing

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Fort Douaumont in 1915 before Battle of Verdun 

• The conquest of the Douaumont fortress has some immediate consequences on the battlefield. The 37 African Division which is responsible for the defence of the line between Champneuville, Vacherauville and the village of Douaumont, expect the German army to break through, now that Fort Douaumont has fallen and that they will be cut of from Verdun by a pincer movement.

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• Monday - 28 February.   The next day the fights continue. The remainders of the 105th Saxon infantry regiment has to march on, even though they are being fired at from two sides by French machine guns that fire just a small distance from the ground. 

• An eye-witness: ...the soldiers fell over like tin soldiers. Almost all our officers get hurt or killed and many of our men get killed because of their own artillery fire, which is too close and therefore causes many victims...

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• It is clear that the attack on Verdun is stagnating. The same conclusion is reached by the German headquarters in Stony. Measures are being contemplated. General Pétain has reached his goal for now: The German attack has been put to a halt and the French army even gained more than the necessary 2 to 3 days.

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• Wednesday - 8 March. Early in the morning, however, the French launch a counterattack with great zeal. The Germans have not consolidated their conquered positions and at the ending of the morning the Bois des Corbeaux becomes French territory again.

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• Tuesday - 14 March. Again a massive German attack is launched at Le Mort-Homme but the advancing main force is taken under fire by the French with enormous power. They are firing from the nearby Côte 304 where a large French concentration of artillery is situated.

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Côte• From the Côte 304 the

French prevent the Germans from installing their artillery lines and observation posts, because of their artillery fire from cable balloons and aero planes. It is almost impossible for the German infantry to dig themselves in; their positions are barraged day and night.

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• Thursday - 9 March. In the morning the German 64th Infantry Regiment is ordered to occupy the Bois Fumin, situated next to the fort, because Fort Vaux had supposedly already fallen into German hands.

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• In the meantime Fort Douaumont has become the basis for all German activities in the frontline, against the Bois de la Caillette, the Thiaumont-line and later against Fleury. The munitions depots are situated here, wounded can receive medical attention and the provisioning of all front troops are initiated from Fort Douaumont.

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• This French counter attack is commanded by General Mangin, who halfway through the battle announces to the world that the fort has fallen into the hands of the French; a message that has to be recalled later.

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• The reserve troops do not appear and neither do the supplies; there is an immense lack of ammunition, food and drink.

• The German attack on the left wing fails. The German troops are fired at with such force that they cannot leave Fort Vaux.

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• Thursday- 17 August. The French attack again, without result, near the Fleury and Thiaumont-fortification.

• On Sunday 3 September the Germans make a small progress in gaining ground in the area of the Nez de Souville.

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In The End

• Places named streets after the battle in memory of it.

• Thousands of people had passed away in that time period cause of the battle.

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Left in memory for the men who fought in the Verdun battle

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