Verdun WW1 Battlefield site, Verdun-sur-Meuse, France. March 2014
Seen here :
The French Cemetery and the Great Ossuary at Douaumont. 16,143 lie dead in the cemetery, all identified except for 540 buried in plot 1. The Ossuary contains the bones of over 130,000 soldiers, both French and German all unidentified.
The Battle of Verdun lasted 9 months, 3 weeks and 6 days between 21 February and 20 december 1916. It was the longest and one of the most costly battles in human history; recent estimates increase the number of casualties to 976,000.
Caption information below from wikipedia:
The Battle of Verdun (Bataille de Verdun), was fought from 21 February – 18 December 1916 during the First World War on the Western Front between the German and French armies, on hills north of Verdun-sur-Meuse in north-eastern France. The German Fifth Army attacked the defences of the Région Fortifiée de Verdun (RFV) and the Second Army on the right bank of the Meuse, intending rapidly to capture the Côtes de Meuse (Meuse Heights) from which Verdun could be overlooked and bombarded with observed artillery-fire. The German strategy intended to provoke the French into counter-attacks and counter-offensives to drive the Germans off the heights, which would be relatively easy to repel with massed artillery-fire from the large number of medium, heavy and super-heavy guns, supplied with large amounts of ammunition on excellent pre-war railways, which ran within 24 kilometres (15 mi) of the front-line.
The German strategy assumed that the French would attempt to hold onto the east bank of the Meuse, then commit the French strategic reserve to recapture it and suffer catastrophic losses from German artillery-fire, while the German infantry held positions easy to defend and suffered few losses. The German plan was based on the experience of the September – October 1915 battles in Champagne (Herbstschlacht) when after early success the French offensive was defeated with far more French