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Lego WW1 - The Battle Of Verdun - stop motionThe Battle of Verdun was the longest and one of the bloodiest battles of World War 1.
It was fought between the Germans and the French around the city of Verdun, in eastern France.
The city of Verdun was both strategically and culturally significant to the French.
The German high command knew that it would be a crushing blow to the French morale if they were to capture it.
On February 21st, 1916, the attack began.
The Germans opened fire with hundreds of artillery guns to bombard the enemy line. They then attacked with huge waves of infantry, which easily overran the destroyed French positions.
Within a few days, they had captured Fort Douaumont, one of France's largest fortresses.
The twenty-year-old fort was no match for this new type of warfare and was quickly destroyed by the German's massive guns.
Eventually, the French were able to reinforce their positions, halting the German advance.
Both sides constantly pounded each other with massive artillery barrages, which made infantry attacks extremely costly.
This also turned the surrounding landscape to mud, which further impeded infantry advances.
For the next few months, the two armies would attack and counter-attack each other, without either side gaining the upper hand.
On July 1st, 1916, the British began the Somme Offensive.
In order to focus on this new threat, the Germans had to revert troops and supplies away from Verdun, relieving the French.
Shortly thereafter the Germans called off their attacks at Verdun.
The French began counter-attacking, and by December 18, over 9 months since the battle began, they had retaken most of the ground they had lost.
Some of the worst fighting conditions during World War 1 were seen in this battle, leading to the deaths of around 300,000 men, with many more being wounded or captured.
The Battle of Verdun showed the strength and determination of the French, and revealed to the world the chaos and destructiveness of modern war.