23/2/1916 Verdun: France attempts to halt the juggernaut

At Verdun German advances continue. The French also continue with their counter-attacks.There is a romantic but suicidal quality to their efforts. A French battalion attempts to retake the Bois des Caures, now occupied by almost an entire German army corps. Their audacity allows them to recover some ground before they are effectively annihilated by the Germans.

In other sectors French troops stage desperate last stands. After a series of bloody repulses, the Germans finally manage to overrun the village of Beaumont, wiping out the defenders.

Although the French efforts to halt or push back the Germans have failed, they have at least managed to disrupt their onward momentum. The Germans also suffer from the difficulties of coordinating artillery fire with advancing infantry. In some areas German troops find themselves shelled by their own guns when they have advanced more quickly than expected.

Even so, the situation on the French side is increasingly desperate. Casualty lists are lengthening, units disintegrating and an air of confusion and panic taking hold of the local headquarters in Verdun. It is no longer clear that the town can be held against the German onslaught.

image sources:

French counter-attacks

map

(both Les Français à Verdun)

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