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- 02 -262016

The “hyperbataille” of Verdun, second episode : german objectives at Verdun

In September 1915, French operations conductedMA BA expoverdun 0201 300x249 The hyperbataille of Verdun, second episode : german objectives at Verdun during the Third Battle of Artois and the Second Battle of Champagne proved to be costly defeats as the opponent fully demonstrated its military superiority. However, in Germany economic conditions started deteriorating on the home front largely because of the British naval blockade that caused many of the shortages in late 1915.

MA BA expoverdun 0202 230x300 The hyperbataille of Verdun, second episode : german objectives at VerdunAs no decisive advantages were made during the German offensives of the Eastern Front, German High Command adopted a war offensive policy on the Western Front as to be able to negotiate an armistice from a position of strength. The choice of the place of battle was quite appropriate. The poorly defended sector of Verdun formed a salient within French front lines isolated on three sides and cut in half by the Meuse, its railway communications to the rear greatly restricted. It defensive system was considerably weakened since its surrounding forts had been in the most part stripped of their batteries and re-supply almost impossible. As Chief of the Imperial German General Staff, Erich von FalkenhaynMA BA expoverdun 0203 300x219 The hyperbataille of Verdun, second episode : german objectives at Verdun believed that the superiority of German artillery would easily crush French front lines. He did not favour a massive breakthrough as he lacked divisions on the ground, neither did he pursue a battle of attrition unlike what he claimed in his post-war Memoirs.
The Poilus’ heroic defence and their unshakable determination to “save” Verdun at all costs turned the Battle of Verdun into a ten-month battle of attrition without any tangible military results instead of a major defeat leading to a tangible separate armistice.

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