Verdun: the longest battle of the Great War
The battle of Verdun began on 21 February 1916. It did not end until December of that year. It was a place of no advance and no retreat, where national resources continued to pour in, extending the slaughter indefinitely. Paul Jankowski, leading French historian and author of Verdun: The Longest Battle of the Great War, examines Verdun in a new, unique way, using both French and German sources with equal weight. Jankowski questions why Verdun holds such a high status in World War I when it sparked no political changes, had an indecisive outcome, and was not the bloodiest of the war. He explains not only the total history of the battle, including leaders, plans, technology, and combat, but also analyzes and stresses the soldiers’ experiences and the impact of war on national memory.
Why did the battle of Verdun begin?
Paul Jankowski is Raymond Ginger Professor of History at Brandeis University. His many books include Verdun: The Longest Battle of the Great War, Stavinksy: A Confidence Man in the Republic of Virtue and Shades of Indignation: Political Scandals in France, Past and Present.