Military History Battle of Verdun
by
Robert Foley
  • LAST REVIEWED: 28 April 2017
  • LAST MODIFIED: 06 February 2012
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199791279-0021

Introduction

The battle of Verdun was the longest, if not the bloodiest, single battle in World War I. Launched by the German Fifth Army on 21 February 1916, it did not come to an end until the final French counterattack was ended on 19 December 1916. For most of 1916, German and French soldiers fought tooth and nail for a few square miles of terrain around the French fortress city of Verdun, in what was the quintessential “battle of attrition” of World War I. Most units of the French army and many of the German army fought in what was described by both sides as the “hell of Verdun.” Between the battle’s start and the end of August (when the Germans ceased offensive operations), some 281,000 Germans and some 315,000 Frenchmen were killed or wounded. The battle ended in obvious defeat for the German army, which led to the replacement of the German chief of the general staff, General Erich Falkenhayn. The battle was also a great propaganda victory for the French, but one won at extraordinary human cost. Indeed, the British historian A. J. P. Taylor once described the battle of Verdun as “the most senseless episode in a war not distinguished for sense anywhere.” Despite this, or perhaps because of it, the battle has subsequently been used by modern France and Germany as a unifying experience for the two nations. As such an important battle in World War I in particular, and in European history in general, it has generated considerable interest from both military and civilian observers. However, the vast bulk of this literature has been in German or French, with only a few important studies in English. Some of the key German and French titles have been translated into English, but most have not been. Historiography of the battle has also suffered from the destruction of the German army archives during bombing in World War II. Until the recent return of the surviving archival records from the former Soviet Union, this has constrained research on the German side of the battle. Recent historiography of the battle has also been shaped by a general move away from operational military history toward a history of the battle from below that looks at the experience from the perspective of the ordinary poilu and Landser.

General Overviews

Unsurprisingly, since the end of World War I, the battle of Verdun has been the subject of numerous scholarly and nonscholarly accounts. The vast majority of these have been in German and French. In the interwar period, soldiers and a few scholars began research to understand the course of the battle. This was picked up again after World War II, particularly as the experience of the battle began to be used as a unifying factor for Germany and France.

English

With no British or US involvement, Anglophone scholars have largely ignored the battle of Verdun. Horne 1993 (originally published in 1962) has long been the standard work on the battle in English. While an extremely readable account, it is a flawed book. Based exclusively on memoir and secondary literature, it paints an incorrect picture of the battle in many respects, including misrepresenting German tactical and strategic methods. Nonetheless, with few competitors, it remains the standard account of the battle in English. Brown 1999 and Mason 2000 provide overviews of the battle for Anglophone readers, but they are also based on limited sources and add little to Horne’s account. The website First World War.com also provides a very basic overview for English speakers, in addition to some accounts of participants. The English-language sources do not reflect the much higher quality of recent German and French scholarship on the battle. The one exception is Doughty 2005, which is based on extensive archival research. However, as this is an account of the overall French conduct of the war, the battle of Verdun is only one section of this work.

  • Brown, Malcolm. Verdun 1916. Stroud, UK: Tempus, 1999.

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    Based on published material, this volume provides a basic overview of the battle for English-speaking readers.

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    • Doughty, Robert. Pyrrhic Victory: French Strategy and Operations in the Great War. Cambridge, MA: Belknap, 2005.

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      Based on extensive archival research, this is the best study of French operations in World War I. The battle of Verdun forms only a portion of this work, which places the battle into the context of the French effort throughout the war.

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      • First World War.com.

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        This website gives a very basic account of the battle, but it does provide accounts from participants, both high command and ordinary soldiers.

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        • Horne, Alistair. The Price of Glory: Verdun 1916. New York: Penguin, 1993.

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          This is the standard work on the battle in English, and, despite its weaknesses, it is a very readable account suitable for undergraduate students. Originally published in 1962 (London: Macmillan).

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          • Mason, David. Verdun. Moreton-in-Marsh, UK: Windrush, 2000.

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            Another basic overview of the battle based on published sources.

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            German

            Research into the German side of the battle has been constrained by the destruction of the German army archives during World War II. As a result of this, the most reliable German accounts of the battle were published in the interwar period. Reichsarchiv 1936 and Reichsarchiv 1938 represent the official account of the battle from the German perspective. While biased against Falkenhayn’s overall strategic concept, the two volumes still provide an excellent overview of the course of the battle from the perspective of the High Command and the Fifth Army. Although often quite jingoistic in tone, and with little real analysis, the four volumes of the semiofficial Schlachten des Weltkrieges series (Beumelburg 1928, Gold 1928, Gold 1929, and Schwencke 1928) provide a very detailed tactical account of aspects of the battle, sometimes going down to the company level to describe actions. Drawing on the now destroyed German archival records, Wendt 1931 gives the best one-volume history of the battle, even if it is primarily from the German perspective. Kabisch 1935 gives a readable account of the battle, and benefits from interviews with a range of senior German commanders. Most observers saw the battle of Verdun as an unmistakable defeat for the German army and a victory for the French. However, as well as highlighting the uniqueness of Falkenhayn’s strategy of attrition in the battle, Ziese-Beringer 1934 argues that the Germans won the battle, citing the decline of the French army and the French mutinies of 1917 as proof.

            • Beumelburg, Werner. Douamont. Schlachten des Weltkrieges 1. Oldenburg, Germany: Gerhard Stalling, 1928.

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              A detailed and often moving study of the capture and loss of Fort Douamont during the battle.

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              • Gold, Ludwig. Die Tragödie von Verdun 1916. Part 1, Die deutsche Offensivschlacht. Schlachten des Weltkrieges 13. Oldenburg, Germany: Gerhard Stalling, 1928.

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                Provides a detailed account of the initial German attack on Verdun, concentrating on the first few days of the battle.

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                • Gold, Ludwig. Die Tragödie von Verdun 1916. Parts 3–4, Die Zermürbungsschlacht. Schlachten des Weltkrieges 15. Oldenburg, Germany: Gerhard Stalling, 1929.

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                  A continuation of Gold 1928, this volume is split in two and gives meticulous snapshots of attritional fighting on both banks of the Meuse in the spring and summer of 1916.

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                  • Kabisch, Ernst. Verdun: Wende des Weltkrieges. Berlin: Otto Schlegel, 1935.

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                    Written by a German general staff officer who interviewed senior commanders from the battle, this is a valuable and readable account of the battle.

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                    • Reichsarchiv. Der Weltkrieg 1914–1918. Vol. 10, Die Operationen des Jahres 1916 bis zum Wechsel in der Obersten Heeresleitung. Berlin: E. S. Mittler & Sohn, 1936.

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                      This volume of the German official history of the war covers the planning and execution of the German offensive. With full access to the official records and key participants, this is a crucial source explaining the course of the battle. It also provides important context for the battle by examining how it fit together with operations elsewhere on the Western Front and beyond.

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                      • Reichsarchiv. Der Weltkrieg 1914–1918. Vol. 11, Die Kriegführung im Herbst 1916 und im Winter 1916/17. Berlin: E. S. Mittler & Sohn, 1938.

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                        This volume of the German official history covers attempts by the Germans to defend against the French counteroffensives in summer and autumn 1916. Given that the Germans were on the defensive, Verdun receives far less attention than in the previous volume, but this is still a crucial source for understanding the battle.

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                        • Schwencke, Alexander. Die Tragödie von Verdun 1916. Part 2, Das Ringen um Fort Vaux. Schlachten des Weltkrieges 14. Oldenburg, Germany: Gerhard Stalling, 1928.

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                          An account of the tactical actions around Fort Vaux. With a great deal of detail, this volume provides a useful account of the changing German and French tactics during the battle.

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                          • Wendt, Hermann. Verdun 1916: Die Angriffe Falkenhayns im Maasgebiet mit richtung auf Verdun als strategisches Problem. Berlin: E. S. Mittler & Sohn, 1931.

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                            Based on extensive research in the later-destroyed German army archives, this work provides the best operational account of the battle from the German perspective. This also gives useful casualty statistics.

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                            • Ziese-Beringer, Hermann. Der einsame Feldherr: Die Wahrheit über Verdun. 2 vols. Berlin: Frundsberg, 1934.

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                              This long and detailed work looks at the longer-term impact of the battle on both the German and French armies and argues that the French mutinies of 1917 were a direct result of the battle.

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                              French

                              The standard French work on the battle is the three volumes of the French official history (Ministère de la guerre 1926, Ministère de la guerre 1933, Ministère de la guerre 1936). In addition to a detailed narrative of the different stages of the battle, each volume also has accompanying volumes of contemporary orders and reports. Despite its age, this remains an extremely valuable source for anyone studying the battle. Denizot 1996 makes extensive use of the French military archives to give the definitive account of the battle from the French perspective. The French government has provided online access to the war diaries of French units from World War I through Mémoire des hommes, which gives important insight into the conduct of the battle from the French perspective. Dugard 1916 shows how the battle was portrayed during the war as a propaganda victory for the French.

                              • Denizot, Alain. Verdun 1914–1918. Paris: Nouvelles Editions Latines, 1996.

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                                Based on extensive research in the French army archives, this highlights the French tactical success in the battle and provides the most complete and accurate account of the French participation in the battle.

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                                • Dugard, Henry. The Battle of Verdun. Translated by F. Appleby Holt. London: Hutchinson, 1916.

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                                  Originally published as La bataille de Verdun (Paris: Perrin et Cie, 1916). A very early account of the battle, this is a useful example of how the French portrayed the battle for propaganda purposes during the war.

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                                  • Lefebvre, Jacques-Henri. Verdun: La plus grande bataille de l’histoire. Paris: G. Durassié et Cie, 1960.

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                                    Based on extensive interviews with veterans, this dated account gives an excellent flavor of the battle from the French perspective. Although this is a readable account, it has been superseded by more recent research.

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                                    • Mémoire des hommes.

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                                      An official French website, Mémoire des hommes provides war diaries of units that fought in the battle, as well as the records of individual soldiers who died during the war. This is a very important primary source on the conduct of the battle.

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                                      • Ministère de la guerre, État-Major de l’armée, Service historique. Les Armées françaises dans la Grande Guerre. Tome IV: Verdun et la Somme. Vol. 1, Projets de la coalition pour 1916, Offensive allemande contre Verdun (21 février–1 mai 1916). Paris: Imprimerie Nationale, 1926.

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                                        This is the French official history of the battle, covering the French defense of the initial German offensive. This detailed account also comes with three volumes of orders and reports and a volume of maps.

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                                        • Ministère de la guerre, État-Major de l’armée, Service historique. Les Armées françaises dans la Grande Guerre. Tome IV: Verdun et la Somme. Vol. 2, Verdun (1 mai–3 septembre 1916 ); Préparation de la bataille de la Somme; Bataille de la Somme (1 juillet–3 septembre 1916). Paris: Imprimerie Nationale, 1933.

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                                          A continuation of Ministère de la guerre 1926, this volume of the official history covers the end of the German offensive and the beginnings of the Entente offensive on the Somme. This is supported by three volumes of contemporary orders and reports, as well as a volume of maps.

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                                          • Ministère de la guerre, État-Major de l’armée, Service historique. Les Armées françaises dans la Grande Guerre. Tome IV: Verdun et la Somme. Vol. 3, Fin de la bataille de la Somme et première bataille offensive de Verdun (3 septembre–31 décembre 1916). Paris: Imprimerie Nationale, 1936.

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                                            The final volume of the French official history of the battle of Verdun, covering the French counteroffensives in the autumn of 1916, as well as the second half of the battle of the Somme, with four volumes of orders and reports and a volume of maps.

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                                            Question of Command, German Side

                                            From the beginning of the battle, questions were raised about command on both the German and the French sides. Participants, as well as historians, disputed the goals, conduct, and ultimate effects of the battle. This debate about command has been fiercest on the German side. On one side stands General Erich von Falkenhayn, the battle’s progenitor and the head of the German High Command at the start of the battle. Falkenhayn 1919 maintains that the goal of the battle all along had been to “bleed white” the French army, and Falkenhayn 1920 provides the text of a memorandum—the so-called Christmas Memorandum—delivered to Kaiser Wilhelm II on Falkenhayn’s plan to defeat the French by means of a “strategy of attrition” in 1916. On the other side, critics of Falkenhayn argue that Falkenhayn’s true objective was the capture of the fortress of Verdun and a breakthrough of the French lines. Hohenzollern 1923, by Crown Prince Wilhelm von Hohenzollern, argues that Falkenhayn did not inform the Fifth Army of his “strategy of attrition” before the battle, and Wilhelm attempts to clear his own name of the defeat. Foerster 1937 and Krumeich 1996 argue that Falkenhayn came up with the idea of attrition only after the initial failure of the offensive. Afflerbach 1994 provides the most detailed discussion of whether Falkenhayn’s “Christmas Memorandum” was written at the time or for his memoirs. Foley 2005 (cited under German Strategic Debate) and Foley 2006 argue that although this memorandum may have been written after the fact, it does represent Falkenhayn’s ideas about the battle. Rocolle 1975 provides a useful assessment of the various options available to the Germans in 1916, and how intelligence helped lead Falkenhayn to chose Verdun as the object of his offensive. Afflerbach 2000 gives a concise account of Falkenhayn’s planning for the battle, based on extensive archival research.

                                            • Afflerbach, Holger. Falkenhayn: Politisches Denken und Handeln im Kaiserreich. Munich: Oldenbourg, 1994.

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                                              Based on recently available archival material, this is a very detailed biography of the architect of the German strategy in the battle, with a detailed discussion of Falkenhayn’s Christmas Memorandum.

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                                              • Afflerbach, Holger. “Planning Total War? Falkenhayn and the Battle of Verdun, 1916.” In Great War, Total War: Combat and Mobilization on the Western Front, 1914–1918. Edited by Roger Chickering and Stig Förster, 113–132. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2000.

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                                                Using research from his exhaustive biography of Falkenhayn, Afflerbach provides a very useful English-language account of Falkenhayn’s planning for the battle.

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                                                • Falkenhayn, Erich von. “Verdun.” Militär-Wochenblatt 6 (12 July 1919): 98–108.

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                                                  Published anonymously, this article in the German army’s official journal defends Falkenhayn’s strategy at Verdun and argues that it was successful in “bleeding white” the French army and preventing it from taking full part in the later battle of the Somme.

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                                                  • Falkenhayn, Erich von. The German General Staff and Its Decisions, 1914–1916. New York: Dodd, Mead, 1920.

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                                                    Falkenhayn’s memoirs were designed to refute his wartime critics and defend his strategic decisions. This includes the text of his “Christmas Memorandum,” a plan for the attrition of the French army Falkenhayn claims to have delivered to Kaiser Wilhelm II in late 1915. Originally published as Die Oberste Heeresleitung 1914–1916 in ihren wichtigsten Entschließungen (Berlin: E. S. Mittler & Sohn, 1920).

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                                                    • Foerster, Wolfgang. “Falkenhayns Plan für 1916: Ein Beitrag zu der Frage; Wie gelangt Man aus dem Stellungskriege zu entscheidungssuchender Operation?” Militärwissenschaftliche Rundschau 2.3 (1937): 304–330.

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                                                      Written by the president of the organization responsible for the writing of the German official history of the war, this article argues that Falkenhayn’s “strategy of attrition” was, in fact, fabricated after the failure of the Fifth Army to breakthrough at Verdun.

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                                                      • Foley, Robert T. “What’s in a Name? The Development of German, British and French Strategies of Attrition on the Western Front, 1914–1918.” The Historian 68.4 (2006): 722–746.

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                                                        This article shows the difference between Falkenhayn’s strategy of attrition and strategies developed by the Western allies during the war.

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                                                        • Hohenzollern, Wilhelm von. Meine Erinnerungen aus Deutschlands Heldenkampf. Berlin: E. S. Mittler & Sohn, 1923.

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                                                          Failure in the battle, as well as Entente propaganda, did serious damage to the reputation of the last German crown prince. In his memoirs, he attempts to revive his reputation by distancing himself from Falkenhayn’s attritional goals and by stating that the battle’s failure was due to a lack of resources.

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                                                          • Krumeich, Gerd. “‘Saigner la France’? Mythes et réalité de la stratégie allemande de la bataille de Verdun.” Guerres mondiales et conflits contemporains 182 (1996): 17–29.

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                                                            Argues that Falkenhayn began using the language of attrition only after the battle had dragged on for several months, and after it was clear a rapid victory was impossible.

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                                                            • Rocolle, Pierre. “Les preliminaires de la bataille de Verdun.” Revue historique des armées 121.4 (1975): 29–58.

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                                                              This article provides an assessment of German planning for the battle, exploring particularly the role played by German intelligence of the French.

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                                                              German Strategic Debate

                                                              Allied to the debate over command and intentions in the battle is a wider debate about German strategic thought. Delbrück 1920 and Buchheit 1942 place the battle in the context of the prewar German Strategiestreit over two types of strategy: a “strategy of annihilation” or a “strategy of attrition.” Pöhlmann 2002 highlights the bias of the authors of the German official history of the war against Falkenhayn. During the war, prime authors of the German official history had worked to have Falkenhayn replaced by his rivals Paul von Hindenburg and Erich Ludendorff. Foley 2005 notes that the “strategy of annihilation” was the prevailing paradigm in the German army of World War I and the interwar period. This heavily influenced opinion toward Falkenhayn before and after the war and prevented his strategy at Verdun from gaining wide acceptance within the German army generally, and within the Fifth Army in particular. Farrar 1972 shows how divisions between German political and military leaders made enacting an effective “strategy of attrition” very difficult.

                                                              • Buchheit, Gert. Vernichtungs-oder Ermattungsstrategie: Vom strategischer Charakter vom Kriege. Berlin: Paul Neff, 1942.

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                                                                Although not specifically about the battle of Verdun, this volume provides an important analysis of different approaches to war.

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                                                                • Delbrück, Hans. “Falkenhayn und Ludendorff.” Preußischer Jahrbücher 180 (1920): 249–281.

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                                                                  Written by a key participant in the prewar Strategiestreit, this work provides a comparison of the two strategies in World War I.

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                                                                  • Farrar, L. L., Jr. “Peace through Diplomatic Exhaustion: German Diplomatic Motivations for the Verdun Campaign.” Revue international d’histoire militaire 32 (1972): 477–494.

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                                                                    Although not specifically about the strategic debate, this article demonstrates the wider problems of German strategic decision making and the challenges of aligning military and political goals.

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                                                                    • Foley, Robert T. German Strategy and the Path to Verdun: Erich von Falkenhayn and the Development of Attrition, 1870–1916. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2005.

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                                                                      Places Falkenhayn’s strategy into a wider context of the Strategiestreit, as well as the development of Falkenhayn’s strategic thought from 1914 to 1916.

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                                                                      • Pöhlmann, Markus. Kreigsgeschichte und Gesichtspolitik: Der erste Weltkrieg; Die amtliche deutsche Militärgeschichtsschreibung. Paderborn, Germany: Ferdinand Schöningh, 2002.

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                                                                        Although not specifically about the battle of Verdun, this volume provides important analysis of the methods and bias of the authors of Germany’s official history of the war and the battle.

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                                                                        Question of Command, French Side

                                                                        On the French side, the successful defense made the reputation of the overall commander of the French forces in the battle, Henri Pétain. Pétain 1930 tells the story from the commander’s own perspective, and Pétain defends himself from the accusations of failures, including that he was too profligate with the lives of his men. Pedroncini 1996 provides a concise analysis of the French leadership in the battle, while Pedroncini 1989 gives important background and context for Pétain’s conduct of the battle. Ferro 1987 places Pétain’s leadership into the wider context of his career.

                                                                        • Ferro, Marc. Pétain. Paris: Fayard, 1987.

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                                                                          This is the standard biography of Pétain, and it puts his command at Verdun into the context of his later “surrender” of France in 1940, and as head of Vichy France during World War II.

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                                                                          • Perdoncini, Guy. Pétain: Le Soldat de la gloire, 1856–1918. Paris: Perrin, 1989.

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                                                                            The first of a two-volume biography of Pétain, providing an important study of his career before and during World War I.

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                                                                            • Pedroncini, Guy. “La bataille de Verdun: Regards sur sa conduit par les Français.” Guerre mondiales et conflits contemporains 182 (1996): 7–15.

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                                                                              Provides a short but important analysis of the French conduct of the battle.

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                                                                              • Pétain, Henri Philippe. Verdun. Translated by Margaret MacVeagh. London: Elkin Mathews & Marrot, 1930.

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                                                                                These memoirs provide an important understanding of the battle from the perspective of the French commander. Originally published as La bataille de Verdun (Paris: Payot, 1929).

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                                                                                Experience

                                                                                Against the backdrop of the debates about command and strategy, accounts by both German and French soldiers sought to make sense of and establish a record of the experience of the battle. For the ordinary French poilu or German Landser, the great strategic issues were less important than surviving the battle. Münch 2006 provides the best analysis of the everyday experience of the battle from the German perspective, while Canini 1988 does the same for the French side. It surpasses the now dated Werth 1979. The experience of the battle has also been told by participants. In the interwar period, novels provided the main means by which this experience was shared. Wehner 1930 stresses the positive aspects of the experience, while Zweig 1936 emphasizes the futility of the battle. Hüppauf 1988 highlights how these experiences were harnessed for political purposes in the interwar period. Lefebvre 1966 is an important collection of personal accounts of the battle from ordinary German and French soldiers. Grabolle 2004 explores the significance of the two great battles of attrition in World War I—Verdun and the Somme—in contemporary literature.

                                                                                • Canini, Gérard. Combattre à Verdun: Vie et souffrance quotidiennes du soldat, 1916–1917. Nancy, France: Presses Universitaires de Nancy, 1988.

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                                                                                  Provides a comprehensive account of the French soldiers’ experience of the battle.

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                                                                                  • Grabolle, Harro. Verdun and the Somme. Budapest: Akadémiai Kiadó, 2004.

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                                                                                    Compares how the two great attritional battles of World War I were portrayed in interwar literature.

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                                                                                    • Hüppauf, Bernd. “Langemarck, Verdun and the Myth of a New Man in Germany after the First World War.” War & Society 6.2 (1988): 70–103.

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                                                                                      Highlights how the memory of the experience of the battles of Langemarck and Verdun were manipulated in the interwar period.

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                                                                                      • Lefebvre, Jacques-Henri. L’Enfer de Verdun: Evoque par les temoins et commenté. Paris: Durassié et Cie, 1966.

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                                                                                        A collection of personal accounts of the battle, providing an important view of how the battle was experienced by ordinary soldiers. Published in German as Die Hölle von Verdun: Nach der Berichten von Frontkämpfer (Paris: Durassié et Cie, 1969).

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                                                                                        • Münch, Matti. Verdun: Mythis und Alltage einer Schlacht. Munich: M-Press, 2006.

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                                                                                          Provides an excellent account of the experience and remembrance of the battle from the German perspective.

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                                                                                          • Wehner, Josef Magnus. Sieben vor Verdun. Munich: G. Müller, 1930.

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                                                                                            A novel by a German veteran of Verdun, himself wounded in the battle, which highlights the positive aspects of the comradeship of wartime. Written in response to Erich Marie Remarque’s antiwar novel All Quiet on the Western Front.

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                                                                                            • Werth, German. Verdun: Die Schlacht und der Mythos. Bergisch Gladbach, Germany: Luebbe, 1979.

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                                                                                              Based on extensive interviews with survivors, this is an important, if now somewhat dated, work on the experience of the battle.

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                                                                                              • Zweig, Arnold. Education before Verdun. Translated by Eric Sutton. New York: Viking, 1936.

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                                                                                                Part of Zweig’s series of novels on World War I, this work stresses the futility of the battle, and of the war as a whole. Originally published as Erziehung vor Verdun (Amsterdam: Querdio Verlag, 1935).

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                                                                                                Remembrance

                                                                                                The battle stands at the heart of the French and German remembrance of the Great War. This joint remembrance is symbolized by François Mitterrand and Helmuth Kohl, at the time the French president and German chancellor, respectively, holding hands in September 1984 at a ceremony at the Verdun Ossuary, where the bones of unidentified Germans and Frenchmen are interred. The Douaumont Ossuary, with its Mémorial de Verdun, center has provided a physical symbol of the memory of the battle. Canini 1986 traces how the battle has been remembered in France since the end of the war. The broader cultural and political significance of the battle for Germany and France is well covered in various essays in the anthology Carlier and Pedroncini 1997, and for Germany in Salewski 1976. Ousby 2002 gives an analysis of the significance of the battle in broader French history.

                                                                                                • Canini, Gérard. “Verdun: Les commemorations de la bataille (1920–1986).” Revue historique des armées 164 (September 1986): 97–107.

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                                                                                                  This article explores the development of the commemoration ceremonies of the battle in France, showing how it has become more significant over time.

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                                                                                                  • Carlier, Claude, and Guy Pedroncini, eds. La bataille de Verdun: Actes du colloque international organisé pour le 80e anniversaire de la bataille par l’Institut d’Histoire des Conflits Contemporains et le Comité National du Souvenir de Verdun les 21 et 22 mai 1996 au Chateau de Vincennes. Paris: Economica, 1997.

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                                                                                                    An anthology of papers from a conference marking the eightieth anniversary of the battle, this is an important source for understanding the remembrance of the battle.

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                                                                                                    • Douaumont Ossuary.

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                                                                                                      Official website of the Ossuaire de Douaumont, the memorial to the battle containing the remains of 130,000 unidentified soldiers from the battle.

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                                                                                                      • Mémorial de Verdun.

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                                                                                                        Website of the “Mémorial de Verdun” at Douaumont, which houses a large collection on the battle, including personal papers of participants.

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                                                                                                        • Ousby, Ian. The Road to Verdun: France, Nationalism and the First World War. London: Jonathan Cape, 2002.

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                                                                                                          This is an important study of how the battle of Verdun fits into the context of the history of modern France.

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                                                                                                          • Salewski, Michael. “Verdun und die Folgen. Ein militär- und geistesgeschichtliche Betrachtung.” Wehrwissenschaftliche Rundschau 25 (1976): 89–96.

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                                                                                                            This article highlights how Verdun quickly became the defining symbol of World War I for Germany in the interwar period.

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