Battle of Verdun

The Great War

Europe 1916.0221

Battle of Verdun

World War I in Europe and the Russian Revolution (21 February 1916)

Historical Map of Europe & the Mediterranean

In February 1916, the Germans launched an attack on Verdun. The German plan was not so much to take the town as to slowly destroy the French Army by drawing it into what would become the longest and bloodiest battle of the War.

Main Events

Siege of Kut

After withdrawing from Ctesiphon, Ottoman Mesopotamia, the 6th Division of the Indian Army under Major-General Charles Townshend is besieged at Kut by the the Ottoman Army. Despite a number of relief expeditions and the first air supply operation in history, the British-Indian forces are unable to break the siege and Townshend surrenders on 29 April 1916, leading to the imprisonment of his 13,000 surviving troops.

Evacuation of Gallipoli

The Allies begin evacuating the Dardanelles, Turkey, following British recognition of the failure the Gallipoli Campaign. Suvla and Anzac are evacuated by 20 December, with Helles holding on until January. The evacuation is the best executed part of the entire Allied campaign: 35,268 troops are successfully removed with only a handful of casualties.

Erzurum Offensive

Russia invades eastern Anatolia, capturing the important Ottoman fortified city of Erzurum.

Battle of Verdun

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