“We could hardly sleep, but we were so tired that we slept in the mud, or a shell hole if it wasn’t filled with water or bodies. We were bombarded every day, sometimes every night. Our shelters were very poor. You couldn’t escape, so you just sat there; always knowing that above the trench, death was waiting for us.
In order to eat, we had to ask for volunteers to go under shell fire and grab our food. Sometimes, we would have coffee and soup if the men weren’t killed on the way there. It wasn’t often that someone could go and come back without being killed.
We bled on the same ground for 6 months. Thousands of men were killed for only a few meters of that ground. Many were waiting to be buried.
We were told that we would be relieved from Verdun when the casualties would come to a certain percentage, something like 50% or 60%. And every morning, we would ask the runner at what percentage were we today.
It was cruel to think about it, but we always hoped for it to be high so that we could be relieved from hell.”
– Unknown French soldier describing the conditions during the fighting Verdun, 1916
As we always say here at Battles and Beers (TM) Every soldier has a story, and every story deserves to be told.