Europe: Verdun Revisited

"If Verdun is taken, what a disaster!" warned France's President Raymond Poincaré. "If it is saved, how can we ever forget the price?" In the crudest ten months of World War I, Verdun was saved. But the price was so disastrous — half a million French and German dead — that it has never been forgotten by either nation.

Over Verdun's ravaged fields one moonlit night last week, a bell tolled mournfully from the vast hilltop monument of Douaumont, where 100,000 nameless skeletons are entombed. French army drums and bugles sounded the solemn Sonnerie aux Morts, France's ancient salute to the...

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