From February to December 1916, the French and Germans waged one of the First World War’s most devastating battles in order to take control of the hills around Verdun. A head on confrontation, fought with no help from their allies, army versus army, nation versus nation. 11 months of fighting, over 2 million soldiers mobilised and 300,000 dead.
Today, this massacre seems senseless. But in 1916, soldiers on both sides accepted to go into battle. Why?
This documentary looks back at this insane battle that was to become the bloodiest chapter of the First World War. Looking back through the personal archives of veterans, delving into their daily lives, their dreams and their nightmares, but also using historical re-enactments and numerous computer-generated images, Verdun, the Battle of the Great War revisits France’s last great victory over Germany. A battle that would become the symbol of nationalist folly and age-old hostility between two nations.
Direction: Serge de Sampigny
Production: Histodoc for ARTE France