French Army at Verdun

Ian Sumner

* Photographic history of one of the great battles of the First World War

* Over 150 previously unpublished wartime photographs showing each stage of the fighting

* Graphic insight into the experience of the soldiers in the front line

* Unforgettable images of the Verdun forts and battlefield

* Published to mark the centenary of the battle
Date Published :
March 2016
Publisher :
Pen and Sword
Series :
Images of War
Illustration :
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Paperback
ISBN : 9781473856158
Pages : 160
Dimensions : 9.69 X 7.44 inches
Stock Status : In stock
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In four and a half years of fighting on the Western Front during the First World War a few battles stand out from the rest. They had a decisive impact on the course of the conflict, and they still define the war for us today. For the French, the Battle of Verdun, fought between February and December 1916, was one of the greatest of these.

That is why the selection of contemporary photographs Ian Sumner has brought together for this volume in the Images of War series is so important and revealing. They show the strained, sometimes shocked faces of the soldiers, record the shattered landscape in which they fought, and give us an insight into the sheer intensity of the fighting.

At the time, and ever since, the battle has been portrayed as a triumph of French tenacity and heroism that is encapsulated in the famous phrase ‘They shall not pass’. These photographs remind us, in the most graphic way, what that slogan meant in terms of the devastating personal experience of the men on the Verdun battlefield.

About The Author

Ian Sumner is a prolific writer and researcher who specializes in local and military history. He has made a particular study of the French army and air force during the First World War, his many books on the subject including The French Army 1914-18, French Poilu 1914-18, First Battle of the Marne 1914, They Shall Not Pass: The French Army on the Western Front 1914-1918, Kings of the Air: French Aces and Airmen of the Great War and The French Army at Verdun.


"a helpful and informative addition to the Images of War series, and with archive photos that make a good job of illustrating the blasted landscape which today is peaceful, covered with grassland and forest and forts such as Douaumont and Vaux are opened as museums for the public to visit while the National Ossuary and the huge graveyard in front of it symbolize the number of soldiers killed in the battle."

- Military Modelling

"Ian Sumner’s Images: [i]The French Army At Verdun[/i] is an excellent overview of the battle from an author with a good track record of books on the French side of the Great War. There are brief chapter introductions but some good photo captions. The photographs themselves are well chosen and show both the French and German side of the battle. The air photos clearly show the destruction the bombardments caused and give an insight into the hell of Verdun: highly recommended."

- Paul Reed,

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