V is for Verdun #atozchallenge

Nineteen-sixteen, The Battle of Verdun
Two vast armies, French and German
The ferocious bombardment
Buried men in the trenches
The bleakest battle of World War One

From spring to winter of 1916, the German and French armies remained locked in combat at Verdun, expending hundreds of thousands of lives in a sustained battle.  In the end, France could claim a defensive victory, but a huge price had been paid.  – The Smithsonian; Visual History of World War One

French Casualties:  315,000–542,000 (156,000–162,000 killed) February–December 1916

German Casualties:  281,000–434,000 (c. 143,000 killed) February–December 1916

“Certainly humanity has gone mad!  It must be mad to do what it’s doing.  Such slaughter! Such scenes of horror and carnage!  — Lieutenant Alfred Joubaire, diary entry at Verdun, May 22,1916

I am intensely interested in the history of the Great War.  My great-grandfather fought with the Scottish regiments in France.  He suffered from the lingering effects of the gas attacks and died early as a result.  I’ve been compiling research that will eventually go into a novel I’m working on.  Parts of it have been published here on my blog.  There is much more to come.