In this Drone footage by Gauthier Lefebvre, we will take a look at the battle for Verdun as we’ve never seen it before. We fly over trenches, inside and outside Fort Douamont, a destroyed church, and the Douaumont Ossuary.
The Battle of Verdun began on February 21, 1916 – 100 years ago this year. By the end of ceaseless 10-month combat at least 300,000 men were dead.
It is true that the French army eventually managed to reclaim most of the territories that they had lost to the Germans, but this is regarded as merely a moral, rather than pragmatic, victory.
Some have argued that Verdun was a critical point in the war and that if the French had not retained it that their morale would have collapsed and that they would have sought terms with the Germans.
Verdun is both a symbol of French pride and one of Franco-German reconciliation.
Since the 1960s, both nations have made symbolic efforts focusing on Verdun to mend the pain two world wars caused each other.
The capstone of this bonding could be the image of German Chancellor Helmut Kohl and French President François Mitterrand holding hands in heavy rain at Douaumont Cemetery in 1984.