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Battle for Verdun rages on
The fighting in recent days at Verdun is thought to be intense, with it often resulting in hand-to-hand fighting Photo: Le Petit Journal, 26 March 1916.

Battle for Verdun rages on

Verdun, 1 March 1916 - The brutal battle for Verdun continues to rage today in the hills of north-eastern France.

There are reports that each side has already suffered thousands of casualties since the German Fifth Army launched an offensive 10 days ago, aimed at capturing the strategically important region. Dead soldiers lie in the fields and ditches and roads in the main areas of the battle.

A French machine-gun ammunition train in waiting bringing up the bullets that would repulse the Germans. (Image: Illustrated London News, [London, England] 11 March 1916)

French reinforcements
The French have responded to this onslaught by sending huge numbers of reinforcements. According to French sources, the ‘crushing blow’ aimed by the Germans against the fortress of Verdun has proved unsuccessful. For three days they have been repulsed and have been unable to make any progress.

Fighting in recent days has focused on the areato the north of the town and has been extremely intense. Violent, localised attacks have resulted in hand-to-hand fighting.

Remains of a French field gun. (Image: Illustrated London News, [London, England] 11 March 1916)

German successes
The Germans did enjoy success in some areas. The village of Manhuelles, for example, has been taken from the French. German sources also say that they have captured some 228 officers and 16,575 men, as well as 78 heavy guns, 86 machine guns and other material.

The French have vowed to defend Verdun with everything in their power and not to withdraw at any cost.

[Editor's note: This is an article from Century Ireland, a fortnightly online newspaper, written from the perspective of a journalist 100 years ago, based on news reports of the time.]

RTÉ

Century Ireland

The Century Ireland project is an online historical newspaper that tells the story of the events of Irish life a century ago.