Verdun and Argonne battlefields: Visit Verdun and see where one of the bloodiest and most futile battles of World War I took place. For ten months in 1916, hundreds of thousands of French and German soldiers died or suffered horrific injuries during a siege that has become known as the Hell of Verdun. Visiting this site is a must if you interested in learning more about the development of the Great War and it well deserves a full day to experience it.
The human cost of the Hell of Verdun is recounted in dire numbers indeed: 300,000 men from both sides died and twice that number were wounded. February 21, 1916, marked the start of the nightmare for both sides, a nightmare that dragged on for 10 relentless months: 300 days and 300 nights of unremitting bloodshed. The lost territory wasn’t recaptured until the end of the war with a massive American attack; no fewer than 1.3 million American troops were on French soil.
This tour takes you to see the main highlights of the Battlefield of Verdun. Explore, among other tenebrous sites, the Ossuary of Douaumont, Fort Douaumont, the Trench of Bayonets and the London Trench. Continue then to the Argonne where, after lunch, you will encounter another part of the battlefield, that where General Pershing's American Expeditionary Force made their entry into the fighting in September 1918. Visit, too, the War Museum in Romagne and the Meuse-Argonne US Cemetery, a huge hillside dotted with perfectly aligned white crosses.
Meeting/pick-up point: 25 rue des Pyramides 75001 Paris.
Duration: Twelve hours.
Start/opening time: 6:40am.