The German strategy was to create a favourable operational situation without a mass attack, which had been costly and ineffective when it had been tried by the Franco-British, by relying on the power of heavy artillery to inflict mass losses. By 25 June, both sides were exhausted and Knobelsdorf suspended the attack. French eavesdroppers overheard a German wireless message announcing the departure and a French infantry company entered the fort without firing a shot; on 5 November, the French reached the front line of 24 February and offensive operations ceased until December. In 1915 and early 1916, German industry quintupled the output of heavy artillery and doubled the production of super-heavy artillery. France will commemorate the centenary of the battle in 2016 with events including the inauguration of a redesigned national memorial.Sean Gallup, Getty Images, A visitor walks inside the mostly intact remains of Fort Vaux near Verdun, France. We visited Fort Douamont, the Ossuarry, the Trench of Bayonets and Fleury, one of the lost villages. On the east bank, German attacks near Vaux reached Bois Caillette and the VauxâFleury railway but were then driven back by the French 5th Division. , Two of the German divisions were understrength with only c. 3,000 infantry, instead of their normal establishment of c. 7,000. The 126th Division (General Paul Muteau), 38th Division (General Guyot de Salins), 37th Division (General NoÃ«l Garnier-Duplessix) and the 133rd Division (General FÃ©nelon Passaga) attacked with four more in reserve and 740 heavy guns in support. It must be mad to do what it is doing. Actual French losses were c. 130,000 by 1 May; 42 French divisions had been withdrawn and rested by the noria system, once infantry casualties reached 50 percent. The French advance was preceded by a double creeping barrage, with shrapnel-fire from field artillery 64 m (70 yd) in front of the infantry and a high-explosive barrage 140 m (150 yd) ahead, which moved towards a standing shrapnel bombardment along the German second line, laid to cut off the German retreat and block the advance of reinforcements. In late 1914 and in 1915, offensives on the Western Front had failed to gain much ground and been extremely costly in casualties. The 155 mm turret at Douaumont had been repaired and fired in support of the French attack. Churchill revised German statistics by adding 2 per cent for unrecorded wounded in The World Crisis, written in the 1920s and James Edmonds, the British official historian, added 30 per cent. The first party to enter the fort was led by Leutnant Eugen Radtke, Hauptmann Hans Joachim Haupt and Oberleutnant Cordt von Brandis. The Germans planned to use a large number of heavy and super-heavy guns to inflict a greater number of casualties than French artillery, which relied mostly upon the 75 mm field gun. The SanitÃ¤tsbericht, which explicitly excluded lightly wounded, compared German losses at Verdun in 1916, averaging 37.7 casualties per thousand men, with the 9th Army in Poland 1914 which had a casualty average of 48.1 per 1,000, the 11th Army in Galicia 1915 averaging 52.4 per 1,000 men, the 1st Army on the Somme 1916 average of 54.7 per 1,000 and the 2nd Army average for the Somme 1916 of 39.1 per 1,000 men. The trenches can still be made out by tourists visiting the woods today. Some German troops took cover in woods and a ravine which led to the fort, when German artillery began to bombard the area, the gunners having refused to believe claims sent by field telephone that the German infantry were within a few hundred metres of the fort. This ninth full-length record, that will see the light of day right in time for the band’s 20th anniversary, will be a concept album based on events during the First World War and will be available in different formats: CD-Digi (History Edition) incl. The German infantry had reached their objectives in fewer than twenty minutes and pursued the French, until fired on by a machine-gun in Douaumont church. The length of the offensive made Verdun a matter of prestige for the Germans as it was for the French and Falkenhayn became dependent on a British relief offensive being destroyed to end the stalemate. best. PÃ©tain took over command of the defence of the RFV at 11:00 p.m., with Colonel Maurice de Barescut as chief of staff and Colonel Bernard Serrigny as head of operations, only to hear that Fort Douaumont had fallen. German infantry began to suffer from exhaustion and unexpectedly high losses, 500 casualties being suffered in the fighting around Douaumont village. “Fields of Verdun” was officially released by Nuclear Blast Records on 3 May 2019. , The German party of c. 100 soldiers tried to signal to the artillery with flares but twilight and falling snow obscured them from view. If the French refused to negotiate, a German offensive would mop up the remnants of the Franco-British armies, breaking the Entente "once and for all". The string in France has reached breaking point. The fort at Douaumont formed part of a complex of the village, fort, six ouvrages, five shelters, six concrete batteries, an underground infantry shelter, two ammunition depots and several concrete infantry trenches.  On 18 August, Fleury was recaptured and by September, French counter-attacks had recovered much of the ground lost in July and August. The attack was intended to capture Ouvrage de Thiaumont, Fleury, Fort Souville and Fort Vaux at the north-east extremity of the French line, which had been bombarded by c. 8,000 shells a day since the beginning of the offensive. Sort by.  When news of the loss of Fort Vaux reached Verdun, the Line of Panic was occupied and trenches were dug on the edge of the city. German medical units kept detailed records of medical treatment at the front and in hospital and in 1923 the Zentral Nachweiseamt (Central Information Office) published an amended edition of the lists produced during the war, incorporating medical service data not in the Verlustlisten. 15 comments. The 5th Army staff requested more reinforcements from Falkenhayn on 31 March with an optimistic report claiming that the French were close to exhaustion and incapable of a big offensive. A sand cushion and thick, steel-reinforced concrete tops up to 2.5 m (8.2 ft) thick, buried under 1â4 m (3.3â13.1 ft) of earth, were added.  The attack began at 10:00 a.m. on 15 December, after a six-day bombardment of 1,169,000 shells, fired from 827 guns.  The Verdun forts had a network of concrete infantry shelters, armoured observation posts, batteries, concrete trenches, command posts and underground shelters between the forts. Forests were reduced to tangled piles of wood by artillery-fire and eventually obliterated. French fortifications were to be engaged by the heaviest howitzers and enfilade fire.  A double ring of 28 forts and smaller works (ouvrages) had been built around Verdun on commanding ground, at least 150 m (490 ft) above the river valley, 2.5â8 km (1.6â5.0 mi) from the citadel. A further attack took the ridge south of the ravin de Couleuvre, which gave the Germans better routes for counter-attacks and observation over the French lines to the south and south-west. The symbolic importance of Verdun proved a rallying point and the army did not collapse. Huge losses were to be inflicted on the French by German artillery on the dominating heights around the city. Bois des Corbeaux was captured again at great cost in casualties, before the Germans took parts of Mort-Homme, CÃ´te 304, CumiÃ¨res and Chattancourt on 14 March. , Nivelle had been concerned about declining French morale at Verdun; after his promotion to lead the Second Army in June 1916, DÃ©faillance, manifestations of indiscipline, occurred in five front line regiments. The German 5th Army attacked the defences of the Fortified Region of Verdun (RFV, Région Fortifiée de Verdun) and those of the French Second Army on the right (east) bank of the Meuse. Listen to Fields of Verdun by Sabaton - Fields of Verdun. Two battalions of the 74th Infantry Regiment were to advance along the east and south-east sides of the fort and take a machine-gun turret on a ridge to the east. A visitor walks past soldiers’ beds inside the mostly intact remains of Fort Douaumont near Verdun, France.Sean Gallup, Getty Images, A visitor photographs a portion of the exterior of Fort Douaumont near Verdun, France.Sean Gallup, Getty Images, Visitors walk past former machine gun turrets on top of Fort Douaumont near Verdun, France.Sean Gallup, Getty Images, Footsteps from recent visitors are visible among the remains of a former French communications and supply trench from the First World War Battle of Verdun near Verdun, FranceSean Gallup, Getty Images, A former steel machine gun turret overlooks the Woevre plain from the top of Fort Douaumont near Verdun, France.Sean Gallup, Getty Images, The remains of a former French communications and supply trench from the First World War Battle of Verdun stand near Verdun, France.Sean Gallup, Getty Images, Visitors walk past a former machine gun turret on top of Fort Douaumont near Verdun, France.Sean Gallup, Getty Images, A memorial commemorates German soldiers killed inside the mostly intact remains of Fort Douaumont near Verdun, France.Sean Gallup, Getty Images, A rusting artillery shell lies in a field near Verdun, France.Sean Gallup, Getty Images, A woman inspects a cross at the cemetery where French soldiers killed in the First World War Battle of Verdun are buried as the Douaumont Ossuary stands behind on August 27, 2014 near Verdun, France.  Only a light railway remained to carry bulk supplies; German-controlled railways lay only 24 km (15 mi) to the north of the front line. As the infantry advanced, the artillery would increase the range of the bombardment to destroy the French second position. The 5th Army infantry was stuck in tactically dangerous positions, overlooked by the French on both banks of the Meuse, instead of dug in on the Meuse Heights. The troops of Infantry Regiment 52 in front of Fort Douaumont had been reduced to 37 men near Thiaumont Farm and German counter-barrages inflicted similar losses on French troops.  The Verdun Memorial opened in 1967 and is located near Fleury-devant-Douaumont. Fields of Verdun Historia edycji tekstu . Water ran short but until 20 May, the fort remained operational, reports being passed back and reinforcements moving forward until the afternoon, when the Bourges Casemate was isolated and the wireless station in the north-western machine-gun turret burnt down. , In May, General Nivelle, who had taken over the Second Army, ordered General Charles Mangin, commander of the 5th Division to plan a counter-attack on Fort Douaumont. Monthly figures of wounded and ill servicemen that received medical treatment were published in 1934 in the SanitÃ¤tsbericht (Medical Report). , In October 1916 the French began the First Offensive Battle of Verdun (1Ã¨re Bataille Offensive de Verdun), to recapture Fort Douaumont, an advance of more than 2 km (1.2 mi). Alain Denizot included period photographs that show overlapping shell craters in an area of about 100 km2 (39 sq mi). Machine-guns were to be set up with overlapping fields of fire and infantry given specific areas to defend. Strongpoints which could not be taken were to be by-passed and captured by follow-up troops. The German advance southwards brought it into range of French artillery west of the Meuse, whose fire caused more German infantry casualties than in the earlier fighting, when French infantry on the east bank had fewer guns in support. Falkenhayn wanted land to be captured from which artillery could dominate the battlefield and the 5th Army wanted a quick capture of Verdun. In the north, a British relief offensive would wear down British reserves, to no decisive effect but create the conditions for a German counter-offensive near Arras. At 5:00 p.m., the infantry in areas A to C would advance in open order, supported by grenade and flame-thrower detachments. German air superiority was reversed by concentrating the French fighters in escadrilles rather than distributing them piecemeal across the front, unable to concentrate against large German formations. The 5th Army would begin a big offensive but with the objectives limited to seizing the Meuse Heights on the east bank for German heavy artillery to dominate the battlefield. Falkenhayn wanted to divide the Allies by forcing at least one of the Entente powers into a negotiated peace. The 5th Army had spent a year improving their defences at Verdun, including the excavation of tunnels linking Mort-Homme with the rear, to deliver supplies and infantry with impunity. , In a revised instruction to the French Army in January 1916, the General Staff (GQG) wrote that equipment could not be fought by men.  In 1980, John Terraine calculated c. 750,000 French and German casualties in 299 days; Dupuy and Dupuy (1993) 542,000 French casualties. German reserve battalions did not reach the front until the evening and two Eingreif divisions, which had been ordered forward the previous evening, were still 23 km (14 mi) away at noon. The Russians attacked again, causing more casualties in June and July. The resort to large, unlimited attacks was costly for both sides but the German advance proceeded only slowly. Fort Vaux was one of a string of French forts built along the Cotes de Meuse hilltop range that became a focal point of bitter fighting between the German and French armies during the the First World War Battle of Verdun in 1916.Sean Gallup, Getty Images, A French 75-mm artillery gun stands inside Fort Vaux near Verdun, France.Sean Gallup, Getty Images, A former First World War German bunker stands in Spincourt forest near Verdun, France. Preview Add correction. The French defenders on the crest of CÃ´te 304 were forced back on 7 May but German infantry were unable to occupy the ridge, because of the intensity of French artillery-fire. Joffre did not listen but Colonel Driant received the support of the Minister for War Joseph Gallieni. This tactic had been developed by Captain Willy Rohr and Sturm-Bataillon Nr. Churchill wrote that an eighth needed to be deducted from his figures to account for casualties on other sectors, giving 403,000 French and 244,000 German casualties. The supply of water to the German infantry broke down, the salient was vulnerable to fire from three sides and the attack could not continue without more Diphosgene ammunition. , Krumeich wrote that the Christmas Memorandum was fabricated to justify a failed strategy and that attrition had been substituted for the capture of Verdun, only after the attack failed. [d] They did not know that the French garrison was made up of only a small maintenance crew led by a warrant officer, since most of the Verdun forts had been partly disarmed, after the demolition of Belgian forts in 1914, by the German super-heavy Krupp 420 mm mortars. The French counter-attacked but Fayolle eventually limited ripostes to important ground only, the rest to be retaken during the main attack. On the east side of the fort, an armoured turret with a 155 mm short-barrelled gun faced north and north-east and another housed twin 75 mm guns at the north end, to cover the intervals between forts.  Falkenhayn offered five corps from the strategic reserve for an offensive at Verdun at the beginning of February 1916 but only for an attack on the east bank of the Meuse. [c], Verdun had been isolated on three sides since 1914 and the mainline ParisâSt MenehouldâLes IslettesâClermont-en-ArgonneâAubrÃ©villeâVerdun railway in the Forest of Argonne was closed in mid-July 1915. Though a million shells have scarred the land, no one has the upper hand From the ground above to trenches, where the soldiers make their stand. Artillery observers were to advance with the infantry and communicate with the guns by field telephones, flares and coloured balloons.  On 26 February, the Germans had advanced 3 km (1.9 mi) on a 10 km (6.2 mi) front; French losses were 24,000 men and German losses were c. 25,000 men. Falkenhayn considered it unlikely the French would be complacent about Verdun; he thought that they might send all their reserves there and begin a counter-offensive elsewhere or fight to hold Verdun while the British launched a relief offensive. If the resumed offensive on the east bank failed to reach the Meuse Heights, Falkenhayn was willing to accept that the offensive had failed and end it. , Fighting in such a small area devastated the land, resulting in miserable conditions for troops on both sides.  The III Corps, VII Corps and XVIII Corps attacked at 4:00 p.m.; the Germans used flamethrowers and stormtroopers followed closely with rifles slung, using hand grenades to kill the remaining defenders. After the war, Kaiser Wilhelm II and Gerhard Tappen, the Operations Officer at Oberste Heeresleitung (OHL, General Headquarters), wrote that Falkenhayn believed the last possibility was most likely. The other was the memory of the survivors who recalled the death, suffering and sacrifice of others. To fulfil this strategy, Falkenhayn needed to hold back enough of the strategic reserve for the Anglo-French relief offensives and then conduct a counter-offensive, which limited the number of divisions which could be sent to the 5th Army at Verdun, for Unternehmen Gericht (Operation Judgement). Deezer: gratis muziekstreaming. If the French refused to negotiate, the second phase of the strategy would begin in which the German armies would attack terminally weakened Franco-British armies, mop up the remains of the French armies and expel the British from Europe. Ground captured by the German 5th Army at Verdun, FebruaryâJune 1916, French troops attacking under artillery-fire, First Offensive Battle of Verdun, 24 October â 2 November 1916, Second Offensive Battle of Verdun, 15â16 December 1916, Nieuport 16 fighter in camouflage adopted during the Battle of Verdun, Part of the Verdun battlefield in 2005 showing the legacy of artillery bombardment, MeuseâArgonne Offensive, 26 September â 11 November 1918. Ten new rail lines with twenty stations were built and vast underground shelters (Stollen) 4.5â14 m (15â46 ft) deep were dug, each to accommodate up to 1,200 German infantry. A mass breakthroughâwhich in any case is beyond our meansâis unnecessary. , In the second edition of The World Crisis (1938), Churchill wrote that the figure of 442,000 was for other ranks and the figure of "probably" 460,000 casualties included officers. This year will mark the passing of a full century since the end of World War I. Discover, buy and download high quality mp3 music of Fields of Verdun 2019 by Sabaton at Mp3Caprice. The offensive was reduced further but to keep French troops in the RFV, away from the Somme, ruses were used to disguise the change. Great emphasis was placed on limiting German infantry casualties by sending them to follow up destructive bombardments by the artillery, which was to carry the burden of the offensive in a series of large "attacks with limited objectives", to maintain a relentless pressure on the French. , The German advance gained little ground on 27 February, after a thaw turned the ground into a swamp and the arrival of French reinforcements increased the effectiveness of the defence. An attack was made on a wider front along both banks by the Germans at noon on 9 April, with five divisions on the left bank but this was repulsed except at Mort-Homme, where the French 42nd Division was forced back from the north-east face.  The main concentration of fire was on the right (east) bank of the Meuse river. Falkenhayn ordered that the command of field and heavy artillery units was to be combined, with a commander at each corps headquarters. By the night of 16/17 December, the French had consolidated a new line from Bezonvaux to CÃ´te du Poivre, 2â3 km (1.2â1.9 mi) beyond Douaumont and 1 km (0.62 mi) north of Fort Vaux, before the German reserves and Eingreif units could counter-attack. save hide report. 5 months ago “Fields of Verdun” is going to be a song on the new album! I have neither the energy nor the disposition at present to say much about the German offensive that began on the Western Front in these strange days. Castelnau disagreed and ordered General FrÃ©dÃ©ric-Georges Herr the corps commander, to hold the right (east) bank of the Meuse at all costs. Even when reconciled to the attrition strategy, they continued with Vernichtungsstrategie (strategy of annihilation) and the tactics of Bewegungskrieg (manoeuvre warfare).  Fort Souville and its approaches were bombarded with more than 300,000 shells, including about 500 360 mm (14 in) shells on the fort. Close. Knobelsdorf reported these findings to Falkenhayn on 20 April, adding that if the Germans did not go forward, they must go back to the start line of 21 February.  (In 2014, William Philpott recorded 377,000 French casualties, of whom 162,000 had been killed; German casualties were 337,000 and noted a recent estimate of casualties at Verdun from 1914 to 1918 of 1,250,000). A preliminary bombardment began on 11 August and the destructive bombardment began two days later but poor weather led to the infantry attack being put back to 20 August. On 24 June the preliminary Anglo-French bombardment began on the Somme. , An attack by three German divisions began on 11 July but German infantry bunched on the path leading to Fort Souville and came under bombardment from French artillery.  On 29 February, the German advance was contained at Douaumont by a heavy snowfall and the defence of French 33rd Infantry Regiment.  In 1926, after an inquiry into the cause cÃ©lÃ¨bre, Herduin and Millant were exonerated and their military records expunged. Correction: Sabaton - Fields Of Verdun (chords) Comment. Cumieres and Caurettes fell on 24 May as a French counter-attack began at Fort Douaumont. , Writing in 2005, Robert Doughty gave French casualties (21 February to 20 December 1916) as 377,231 men and casualties of 579,798 at Verdun and the Somme; 16 percent of the casualties at Verdun were fatal, 56 percent were wounded and 28 percent missing, many of whom were eventually presumed dead. I cannot find words to translate my impressions. A corps was moved to the 5th Army to provide labour for the preparation of the offensive. Knobelsdorf persisted with attempts to maintain momentum, which was incompatible with casualty conservation by limited attacks, with pauses to consolidate and prepare. XXX Corps held the salient east of the Meuse to the north and north-east and II Corps held the eastern face of the Meuse Heights; Herr had 8 1⁄2 divisions in the front line, with 2 1⁄2 divisions in close reserve.  R. G. Grant gave a figure of 355,000 German and 400,000 French casualties in 2005. On 23 February, a French counter-attack at Bois des Caures was repulsed. In late January 1916, French intelligence obtained an accurate assessment of German military capacity and intentions at Verdun but Joffre considered that an attack would be a diversion, because of the lack of an obvious strategic objective. Groupe d'armÃ©es du centre (GAC, General De Langle de Cary) had the I and XX corps with two divisions each in reserve, plus most of the 19th Division; Joffre had 25 divisions in the French strategic reserve. The German infantry took many prisoners as the French on CÃ´te 347 were outflanked and withdrew to Douaumont village. , The Second Offensive Battle of Verdun (2iÃ¨me Bataille Offensive de Verdun) was planned by PÃ©tain and Nivelle and commanded by Mangin. The French had seen the German flares and took the Germans on the fort to be Zouaves retreating from CÃ´te 378. , Verdun battlefield from Fort de la Chaume, looking northâeast, 1917, Later in May 1916, the German attacks shifted from the left bank at Mort-Homme and CÃ´te 304 to the right bank, south of Fort Douaumont. The 5th Army had a lower rate of loss than armies on the Eastern Front in 1915 and the French had a lower average rate of loss at Verdun than the rate over three weeks during the Second Battle of Champagne (SeptemberâOctober 1915), which were not fought as battles of attrition. Need help? The pause in the German advance on 27 February led Falkenhayn to have second thoughts to decide between terminating the offensive or reinforcing it. The fighter escadrilles drove away the German Fokker Eindeckers and the two-seater reconnaissance and artillery-observation aircraft that they protected. On the left bank, the German advanced from the line CÃ´te 304, Mort-Homme and CumiÃ¨res and threatened the French hold on Chattancourt and Avocourt. Six forts had 155 mm guns in retractable turrets and fourteen had retractable twin 75 mm turrets. The heavy artillery was to maintain long-range bombardment of French supply routes and assembly areas; counter-battery fire was reserved for specialist batteries firing gas shells. It is the site of a famous French battle in the Great War - trying to hold the line at all costs. The ability of the German army to inflict disproportionate losses had also been overestimated, in part because the 5th Army commanders had tried to capture Verdun and attacked regardless of loss. On the third day of the offensive, the 6th Division of the III Corps (General Ewald von Lochow), had ordered that Herbebois be taken regardless of loss and the 5th Division had attacked Wavrille to the accompaniment of its band. The German strategy in 1916 was to inflict mass casualties on the French, a goal achieved against the Russians from 1914 to 1915, to weaken the French Army to the point of collapse. In the GorliceâTarnÃ³w Offensive (1 May to 19 September 1915), the German and Austro-Hungarian Armies attacked Russian defences frontally, after pulverising them with large amounts of heavy artillery. , A French attack on a 9 km (5.6 mi) front on both sides of the Meuse was planned, XIII Corps and XVI Corps to attack on the left bank with two divisions each and two in reserve. After the German invasion of France had been halted at the First Battle of the Marne in September 1914, the war of movement ended at the Battle of the Yser and the First Battle of Ypres. , The Haudromont quarries, Ouvrage de Thiaumont and Thiaumont Farm, Douaumont village, the northern end of Caillette Wood, Vaux pond, the eastern fringe of Bois Fumin and the Damloup battery were captured.  In 2005, Robert Foley used the Wendt calculations of 1931 to give German casualties at Verdun from 21 February to 31 August 1916 of 281,000, against 315,000 French. For the Battle of Verdun, the SanitÃ¤tsbericht contained incomplete data for the Verdun area, did not define "wounded" and the 5th Army field reports exclude them. , Fort Souville dominated a crest 1 km (0.62 mi) south-east of Fleury and was one of the original objectives of the February offensive. , After a week, the German attack had reached the first-day objectives, to find that French guns behind CÃ´te de Marre and Bois Borrous were still operational and inflicting many casualties among the Germans on the east bank. The final French bombardment was directed from artillery-observation aircraft, falling on trenches, dugout entrances and observation posts. , Unternehmen Gericht (Operation Judgement) was due to begin on 12 February but fog, heavy rain and high winds delayed the offensive until 7:15 a.m. on 21 February, when a 10-hour artillery bombardment by 808 guns began.  In 2003, Anthony Clayton quoted 330,000 German casualties, of whom 143,000 were killed or missing; the French suffered 351,000 casualties, 56,000 killed, 100,000 missing or prisoners and 195,000 wounded. Map of Verdun and the vicinity (commune FR insee code 55545), East bank of the Meuse, FebruaryâMarch 1916, The WoÃ«vre region of Lorraine (in green), Verdun, east bank of the Meuse, 21â26 February 1916, German dispositions, Verdun, 31 March 1916, Death works "Verdun the World-blood-pump", German propaganda medal, 1916.  On 25 November after a five-hour hurricane bombardment, the 128th and 37th divisions, supported by 18-field artillery, 24 heavy and 9 trench artillery groups conducted a raid on a 4 km (2.5 mi) front in appalling weather. Verlustlisten excluded lightly wounded and the Zentral Nachweiseamt records included them. 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Catalogue online at Last.fm 27 ] the fortress garrisons had been readied for demolition 1916 among... Than place a negotiated peace with neighbouring regiments and diversions were planned near Fort Vaux and Eix not listen Colonel! 714,231 and 976,000 for both sides 3 May 2019 of 12 February bombardment to. Where 474 French troops died in a field near Verdun, was fought from 21 February but Germans... Automatically expire 6 months from your last visit fighting for Bois de l'Herbebois last French line... Proved correct by the end of April, most of the bombardment to the! Lightly wounded Fields of Verdun proved a rallying point and the French Army to.