Fort Douaumont by Christina Holstein

By Christina Holstein

This absolutely revised moment variation of Christina Holsteins acclaimed Battleground consultant to citadel Douaumont can be crucial analyzing for college kids of the conflict of Verdun, for viewers to the battlefield, and for somebody who's attracted to the historical past of twentieth-century fortifications.The conflict, which lasted from 21 February to fifteen December 1916, was once a turning aspect within the First global struggle, and fortress Douaumont used to be on the center of it. In 1914 the fortress used to be the most powerful and latest of the fortifications round Verdun and it shaped the keystone of the French protection within the quarter.

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6, Tome IV, 3rd Vol. Mémorial de Verdun. The Ossuary. Clothing/footwear: Verdun can be very wet, so bring a rainproof jacket and a waterproof bag for camera, pencils and notebook. A torch is also useful. Forest paths are always muddy so make sure you have adequate stout, waterproof footwear. The forts are cool and damp, so carry a sweater or jacket even on a hot day. Make sure your tetanus jab is up to date and that you are properly covered for medical insurance. In summer, bring sun cream and plenty of mosquito repellent, including mosquito spray for your room.

Almost 1000 guns, mortars and machine guns were in position with a further 250 in reserve and their interlinking fields of fire protected every approach to the city. Most of the forts and ouvrages were linked by telegraph and telephone and the whole fortified camp was served by a narrow gauge railway system and a network of strategic routes of enormous extent which offered secure communications, provisioning and supply. On mobilization, the garrison comprised 66,000 men and rations for six months.

It was built of dressed limestone blocks that were one and a half metres thick and covered by three to five metres of earth. Surrounding the fort on all sides was a wide dry ditch roughly six metres deep which was crossed by a drawbridge. Like other forts of the period, caponiers flanked the ditch and a ravelin and guard house commanded the entrance. The artillery was mounted on the parapet in the open air. Two barrack blocks provided accommodation on two floors for almost 900 officers and men and included medical facilities, kitchens, store rooms, magazines and the commandant’s quarters.

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