For John, BLUF: WWI was ugly. Nothing to see here; just move along.
The Battle of Verdun was winding down as the Battle of the Somme was heating up, starting today, 100 years ago.
Inside the toxic grave of the longest battle in history: The French forest where 300,000 died in 300 days at the Battle of Verdun is still littered with so many bodies, arsenic and unexploded shells that nothing grows after 100 years
- The battle for Verdun in 1916 was the longest in history, with millions of shells fired over 10 months At its end in December of that year, the French victorious, an area larger than the city of Paris had been destroyed
- The French labelled it a 'Zone Rouge' shortly after the end of the war, leaving it to be reclaimed by nature
- A century on, the ground is still littered with unexploded shells, strewn with barbed wire and filled with arsenic
- Parts of the forest are still so dangerous the French have sealed them off, while shells are still turned up by farmers
Regards — Cliff