On this day 15 December WWI

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1916 Battle of Verdun ends


The Battle of Verdun, the longest engagement of World War I, ends after 10 months and massive loss of life.

On February 21, 1916, German forces under General Erich von Falkenhayn launched an offensive against Verdun, a city 137 miles east of Paris. The outlying forts of Hardaumont and Douaumont soon fell, but the French rallied under General Henri Pýtain, and a bloody stalemate ensued in which thousands of soldiers fell daily. On July 1, a major British offensive in the Somme River region relieved some of the pressure on Verdun, as did the Brusilov Offense by Russia on the eastern front.

By mid-December, the French had recovered most of the ground lost in the early days of the battle. When the Battle of Verdun ended, with a French victory, on December 18, 23 million shells had been fired and 650,000 lives lost.
 

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