The Battle of Verdun has been likened to a “microcosm of the entire First World War in itself:” in 1916 over 10 months on an approximately 125-square mile battlefield the French and German armies poured in some 40,000,000 artillery shells in order for the Germans to push the frontline in 6 miles and for the French to later push it back 6 miles. The casualty count topped 700,000. At the end of the battle, like at the end of the war itself two years later, both the attacker and the defender were exhausted with no clear victory won or lost.
In this first episode we will explore the background and lead up to the battle, from the opening battles on the Western Front in 1914 to the bloody stalemate trench battles of 1915 and development of the German plan to attack the French at Verdun.
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