'Le Pays de France'


A View of the Verdun Battlefield

Typical pages with an article on the military situation at Verdun.


The following links contain a collection of magazine pages integrally scanned from the French newsmagazine 'Le Pays de France'. Practically every page of photos from that publication having to do with the battle of Verdun in 1916 can be found in this section. Coverage started in March 1916 with views of Verdun under bombardement and progressed onwards with a varied collection of photographs of almost every aspect of the battle. Coverage ceased after the December 1916 French counter-attacks. During the period of the battle, photos of Verdun appeared in almost every weekly issue, usually with 2 whole pages devoted to battlefield subjects. Informative text articles appeared less frequently, giving details of the military situation and maps along with an analysis and an optimistic patriotically inspired prognosis of the battle.

The photos printed in 'Le Pays de France' were at times outstanding and varied, but not so much informative as mainy atmospheric and inspiring. They are however quite different from those procurred from newsagencies and have since not much been used in modern-day publications. As such they give us a fresh view of events and a new perspective of looking at things. They appear here in chronological order from March til December 1916 just as the public would have seen them in print. One does not learn much about the ebb and flow of the fortunes of war, nor about the array of forces or the progress of the battle. Instead what we see here is what a typical French family would have seen when they sat down to read about the momumental struggle taken place at Verdun in 1916, when hope and despair alternated in the hearts of the French population.


During the early stages of the battle : Verdun shelled while civilians are evacuated.
The French president and general Joffre visit the city.


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