Sunday, May 29, 2016
100 Years Since Verdun Celebrated
In a show of support, Angie and Francis make nice and say some generic pro-EU things. So that's nice. They probably glossed over a few things though.
For the uninitiated here is a quick rundown on the war:
In reality, Verdun was a meat grinder much in the way that the Somme and the Battle(s) of Ypres became. Much for the same reason too. The Germans still were riding high on the exploits of Fredrick the Great and thought their military might would be unmatched. Frederick the Great was instrumental in developing how Germans would look at maneuver warfare, but they were hanging on to 130 year old laurels. To be sure, the German Empire, (just 45 yeas young at this point), was still angry over the Wars of Religion and the 30 Years War which had killed 1 out of 3 Germans and left them out of major European politics for a couple of hundred years. Hubris was coupled with an aged and doddering higher command which was in no particular hurry to change with the times. Years later, the Germans would have to relearn the lessons of Pyrrhic stubbornness to the point of of annihilation on the Eastern front, (Kursk and Stalingrad come to mind). Not to be outdone, Americans took their turn at the meat grinder in the Hurtgen Forrest from 1944 to 1945.
I have traveled to Verdun and walked inside Fort Vaux and the memorial at Douaumont. Both are well worth the trip to see. Time has washed over much of the fortifications but you can still see parts of the trenchworks around the area. The memorial, with its thousands upon thousands of crosses is a sight to behold.
It is no mistake that the German word for battle, "Schlacht", also means to butcher.