20/3/1916 Verdun: a disastrous failure of French morale

At Verdun the Germans are still attacking. On the west bank of the Meuse, their target is the outcropping of the Mort Homme. Frontal assaults and flanking attacks from the north east have failed. Now they are trying to take it from the west. The Mort Homme here is defended by another French position known as Côte 304. To take this the Germans must first seize the village of Avocourt and its surrounding woods. A unit of Bavarian troops, who had been serving with Mackensen in Serbia, is given the task. Today they move forward.

The French positions around Avocourt are well fortified and should be easy enough for committed troops to hold. Unfortunately the French troops defending here have been so battered by the fighting that their morale is shot. In an embarrassing debacle, the French defenders put up little resistance; there are even rumours of treachery on their part. Avocourt falls with the Germans taking many prisoners. Now the Bavarians prepare to press on to seize Côte 304 and roll up the French line.

French prisoners (De Eerste Wereldoorlog 1914 – 1918)

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