It may seem a little strange that I should advise you to go
there. Verdun is probably the most famous battle in WWI. Here,
in 1916, Germans and French troops were facing each other, dug
in their "tranchées", when the germans decided
to attack. First, for days, they bombed the area. A nightmare
we cannot even imagine. The whole landscape was deeply transformed
by this bombing. However, a few French troops survived in this
hell, and were able to defeat the following attack, supported
by new troops. (On the picture, right, a "tranchée"
and the craters caused by bombs. If you want to see other pictures
of the bombing, click on the picture. You'll have a bird's-eye
views of the Douaumont fort before the bombing, and what was left
of it afterwards : nothing.) This hell cost the live of over 700,000
men between October 1916 and August 1917.
In Douaumont, in the "Ossuaire" are buried more than
150,000 soldiers, Germans, French, Canadian and English together,
who died in this battle.
Beware the numerous LF-R and LF-D zones around Verdun. There
is an airfield near the city.
From the sky, you will be able to see, even after almost 100
years, craters made by the bombing. Flying here, where the first
dogfights were fought by people like Fonck, Guyenmer and the Red
Baron might be a tribute to soldiers of your own country who came,
fought and died in France during this terrible war. After flying,
visit some of the many battlefields on the ground, and remember.
Verdun itself is not a very pretty city. But it is a world-famous
symbol of peace, like Stalingrad or Hiroshima.
In Normandy, far from Verdun, you may also want to see the
D-day landing beaches, and other places where fightings occured
during those crucial hours. Of course, there is much to see and
remember also (a museum in Caen...) But fom the sky, you won't
see much. La pointe du Hoc is quite impressive, though, with a
lot of craters to show what kind of hell it was. Omaha la sanglante
(bloody Omaha) has much changed, with a road and houses built
in the very places where the the raging battle occured. Pegasus
bridgewas dismantled and rebuilt as it was on D day. The original
bridge was taken away and, as far as I know, rebuilt somewhere
else, not far.
The weather today in Verdun :
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about Verdun airfield via nav3000
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