Battle of Verdun

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Verdun, battle of,

the longest and one of the bloodiest engagements of World War IWorld War I,
1914–18, also known as the Great War, conflict, chiefly in Europe, among most of the great Western powers. It was the largest war the world had yet seen.
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. Two million men were engaged. It began on Feb. 21, 1916, when the Germans, commanded by Crown Prince Frederick William, launched a massive offensive against Verdun, an awkward salient in the French line. The outlying forts of Douaumont and Hardaumont soon fell, but the French rallied under General PétainPétain, Henri Philippe
, 1856–1951, French army officer, head of state of the Vichy government (see under Vichy). In World War I he halted the Germans at Verdun (1916), thus becoming the most beloved French military hero of that conflict.
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 (with the cry "They shall not pass") and resistance stiffened. A British offensive on the Somme relieved the pressure on Verdun in July, 1916, and by December the French had recovered most of the ground lost. The intention of the Germans had been a battle of attrition in which they hoped to bleed the French army white. In the end, they sustained almost as many casualties as the French; an estimated 328,000 to the French 348,000.


See studies by A. Horne (1962), W. Hermanns (1972), and I. Ousby (2002).

References in periodicals archive ?
The Battle of the Somme from July 1 to November 13, 1916, was seen as a distraction to the battle of Verdun by some historians.
The Battle of Verdun nearly rang the death knell for the French Army.
Many died in the trenches at the Battle of Verdun in 1916.
2) He went on to fight in his final engagement of the war at the brutal Battle of Verdun.
She revealed that her great-grandfather was awarded in recognition of his bravery during the Battle of Verdun.
I tried to get a drink in the Arkle, but all I managed was to be reminded of the Battle of Verdun and Marshal Petain's "ils ne passeront pas".
ONE of the largest Son et Lumiere events to be staged in France will pay special homage this summer to the Battle of Verdun.
Along with the Somme, the year also saw the battle of Verdun, the longest single battle of the war.
The Battle of Verdun - another of the war's bloodbaths - was a huge drain on the French military in terms of resources and men's lives.
The Battle of Verdun, considered the longest battle of attrition in history, claimed one million lives on both sides, after which the front lines had hardly changed at all.
The Battle of Verdun - aimed at "bleeding France white" - begins with a German attack on the aptly named Mort Homme (Dead Man) ridge.