22/10/1916 Verdun: the French try a cunning ruse

The battle of Verdun continues, but now the French are pushing back the Germans, trying to recover ground lost since the start of the battle in February. Their hope now is to recapture Fort Douaumont, the great fortress that fell to the Germans without a shot being fired in its defence. French artillery has been battering the fortress, and also the German trenches near it.

Today the shelling stops. From the French trenches the Germans hear the sound of cheers and men getting ready to attack. Believing the attack to be imminent, German guns open fire on the French lines, hoping to disrupt the attacking forces. But the French have tricked them. They are not attacking today. The lull was merely a ruse designed to fool the Germans into revealing the location of their guns. Now French spotters have fixed the location of the German artillery pieces. They call down a rain of shells on the enemy guns.

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