Verdun was almost exclusively a French and German battlefield until the last months of the war. The Battle of Verdun continued for most of 1916 and it became the most bloody of the wall. Three-quarters of the French Army rotated through the area and the terrifying losses experienced there have given it an almost sacred status in French culture. The forts that ring the old citadel are still largely accessible and millions of unexploded shells still litter the forest floor. At Vauquois the underground war reached its zenith as the French and Germans created over 17 km of tunnels under the hill – some over 100m down.

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