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Tuesday, 26 October 2004
Douaumont map

Douaumont map

Here’s a map of the destoyed village of Douaumont, found on a plaque at the crossroads leading down to the chapel. The nearby fort was the target of the (surprise) German attack in February 1916 that destroyed the village.  The fort was then retaken by the French in October 1916.  The village of Douaumont was itself taken 16 times during the battles. 

As I mentioned yesterday, Douaumont is the highest point around Verdun so the fort (which was built in 1885 from stone) was of strategic importance. The walls of the fort were reinforced, with a 1 metre layer of concrete over a 1 metre layer of sand.  In yesterday’s photograph you can see the scars of the battle where the village stood. Much of the landscape around Douaumont is scarred in the same way. The battle of Verdun lasted under two years, but 400 thousand French soldiers, almost as many German soldiers and several thousand US and Canadian soldiers perished.

Posted by bigblue on 26/10/2004 at 11:12 PM
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