Battle of Verdun The Most Important Battle that

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Battle of Verdun The Most Important Battle that Helped Shape WWI Jessica L, Kate

Battle of Verdun The Most Important Battle that Helped Shape WWI Jessica L, Kate S, Dimitri K, Stephanie X, Esteban O

Who/Where/When Germany vs. France ● ● February 21 -December 18, 1916 Fortress of Verdun

Who/Where/When Germany vs. France ● ● February 21 -December 18, 1916 Fortress of Verdun (France) along Meuse River GERMANY ● Initial Leader: Crown Prince William ● flamethrowers ● phosgene gas (x 10 more deadly than chlorine gas) ● steel helmets France ● tanks

Why ● ● ● Germany thought Britain was the greatest threat of allied powers

Why ● ● ● Germany thought Britain was the greatest threat of allied powers but couldn’t attack them unless through naval attack, in which they would lose ○ Britain’s “greatest weapons” were rest of allied powers (France , Russia Italy). Battle of attrition ○ The Germans selected Verdun as their target not only because it was nestled in a salient, or bulge, in the Western Front, but also because it was steeped in political history. ○ Such a famous/legendary place getting taken over would be huge blow to French morale Decided to battle France (Italy and Russia not likely to attack/not a threat) at a point of attack where they would bleed out, forced to throw as much men as possible ○ Fortress of Verdun because: threatened German communication lines, a salient (jutting out in V shape) in defenses, and also road to Paris

A VERY, VERY SHORTENED TIMELINE February 21, 1916 Verdun (German 5 th Army vs.

A VERY, VERY SHORTENED TIMELINE February 21, 1916 Verdun (German 5 th Army vs. French 2 nd Army) ↓ February 26, 1916 Germans capture Fort Douaumont ↓ March 6, 1916 Meuse River ↓ April 9, 1916 Verdun (20 mi. East and West front) ↓ December 1916 Battle ends

What Happened ● ● January 1916: French discover German plans to attack Verdun ○

What Happened ● ● January 1916: French discover German plans to attack Verdun ○ Planned to draw France into deadly German artillery and weaken to a point past recovery Next 10 Days: French send all their troops and weapons on trucks to protect Verdun ○ Difficult to do, main lines to Verdun were under attack by Germans. Used La Voie Sacrée (sacred way), a dirt road February 21 -Germans launch attack, make significant gains First 4 days, Germans destroyed French with artillery & took/ destroyed towns (including Fort Douaumont, one of the most formidable strong points surrounding Verdun). ○ France barely held Germans back ● France got their act together & bolstered defenses ○ Held the river banks and held back/slowed Germans

What Happened Pt. 2 ● Fighting expanded to both banks of river- held bloody

What Happened Pt. 2 ● Fighting expanded to both banks of river- held bloody stalemate (both wanted hasty conclusion to focus on Battle of Somme) ○ French and German commanders constantly changing ● ● Many deaths for minor gains ○ Epitomized trench warfare Russian victory on eastern front halted German advances- France took back ● territory Germany’s last significant advance in September- didn’t yield any territory for ● ● them ○ Active period of battle ends. Ended with Battle of Louvemont, France took back their territory with surprise attack on Germany (Germany learned about it but started firing two minutes late at the beginning of the battle) France wins!

Results/Significance ● French casualties: 400, 000 ● German casualties: 350, 000 ● ● Peak

Results/Significance ● French casualties: 400, 000 ● German casualties: 350, 000 ● ● Peak example of atrocities of trench warfare Massive amount of blood spent for very little change in territory Nine French villages destroyed Fort Douaumont captured by Germans for eight ● ● ● months 65 square miles of French territory was declared a “Red Zone” due to unexploded bombs and chemical weapons France began to fight very passively and held increasingly to older tactics used at Verdun France loses self-confidence and will to fight / force their people to sacrifice their lives, leading to their quick defeat in World War 2 Halts major German offensive in World War 1

Bibliography ● ● ● https: //www. britannica. com/event/Battle-of-Verdun#goog. Disable. Sync https: //www. jstor. org/stable/26304994?

Bibliography ● ● ● https: //www. britannica. com/event/Battle-of-Verdun#goog. Disable. Sync https: //www. jstor. org/stable/26304994? Search=yes&result. Item. Click=true&search Text=verdun&search. Uri=%2 Faction%2 Fdo. Basic. Search%3 FQuery%3 Dverdun http: //time. com/4596494/battle-verdun-photos/