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The battle of the Great War | DW Documentary (WW1 documentary)

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Verdun was one of the bloodiest battles of World War I. The documentary looks at the daily life of the soldiers on the front. [Online until 11.11.2018]

Today, the hellish Battle of Verdun is a symbol of the industrialization of warfare and of the horrors, futility and inhumanity of the First World War. There are now 40 French and 30 German military cemeteries on the former battlefield and a total of 170,000 dead are buried there - killed in one of the bloodiest battles of the First World War. On February 21, 1916, the German 5th Army launched an attack on the French positions at Verdun. By the end of the year, the Germans had been forced back to their starting position. The ten-month struggle for Fort Douaumont was one of the bloodiest battles of the First World War. Without the support of their allies, France and Germany clashed head-on at Verdun and paid a heavy price. More than 300,000 soldiers lost their lives in the murderous fighting. Today, the battle seems absurd. It claimed almost the same number of lives on both sides without achieving any militarily viable result. But to the German and French soldiers who were there, it was anything but pointless. Why were they prepared to fight with their lives? Our documentary looks at the political motives of both countries and the daily life of the soldiers on the front. Why were the Germans and French fighting each other? Out of nationalism? Military reflex? Or were there other reasons? Archive images give us an idea of this titanic confrontation. The reconstructed scenes were shot in color to distinguish them from contemporary documents. Numerous computer animations illustrate the topography of the battlefield and the course of the fighting.

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