12/1/1916 Verdun: German preparations intensify, guns start firing

The Germans are preparing for their offensive against the fortified French town of Verdun. Falkenhayn’s plan is to inflict so many casualties on the enemy that they will have to sue for peace. Preparations are taking place in great secrecy, with as few people as possible on the German side being made aware that a great offensive is being planned.

Today preparations climb to a new level as German artillery pieces start to fire at French positions around Verdun. This is not the barrage that will precede the assault: the German guns are just finding the range of their targets so that when they fire in earnest they will be able to accurately pour down shells on the hapless French.

The German ranging fire may excite French suspicions that something is being planned for the Verdun sector, but Falkenhayn is determined to keep the enemy guessing for as long as possible. Heightened activity is taking place at various places along the Western Front to confuse the Allies as to their intentions. Nevertheless, the French are beginning to realise that something is up.

image source:

German heavy artillery piece (Passion & Compassion 1914-1918)

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