Posts tagged ‘verdun’

Fleury-devant-Douaumont, France

Although I’ve been to Verdun four times, it was a first time for me when I stopped at Fleury last month. It lays right next to the Verdun Memorial and just two kilometers away from the Douaumont Ossuary. When the Battle of Verdun began, the population of roughly 400 evacuated the village in a hurry. It is said that soldiers found half-eaten meals on the kitchen tables.

After 300 days of hell and after up to 60 million shells were fired, there was nothing left of the little village. Today, only signs show the visitors which buildings had to make room for destruction and the craters that are left. Fleury-devant-Douaumont and other eight villages in the region that suffered the same fate are called “villages detruit”, destroyed villages.

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The road leading to the Verdun Memorial

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A wooden sculpture of a ‘Poilu’, a French infantryman

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Fleury is still a commune, although its population is ‘0’. The only building is the chapel which was built in 1979.

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Signs like the one in the bottom left corner show what was there before. In this case, you’re looking at a cafe.

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The memorial for the fallen of the village

Equipment:

Nikon D5300
Nikon DX VR AF-P NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6
iPhone 6s

Editing:

Adobe Lightroom CC

Ossuaire de Douaumont, France

During my little military history trip, I spent the night in Verdun, France. Verdun is a well-known name in the history of World War One in Germany and France. It was a long battle which began on February 21st and ended on December 19th, 1916. A lot of the fighting happened on the Douaumont hill. Around 250,000 German and French soldiers died and much more suffered injuries or are missing.

In 1932, French President Lebrun inaugurated the Douaumont Ossuary. 130,000 unknown fallen soldiers from both nations lay here. Through little windows, people can look at the bones and skulls.

I arrived in the afternoon when it was about to get dark. With some spare time after driving to a nearby German War Cemetery, I decided to visit the ossuary and call it a day. I was glad I made that decision. Upon arriving, French servicemen faced the cemetery in front of the ossuary and sung a song. Unluckily, I wasn’t able to identify it.

dsc_0822-a-2dsc_0826-aI love the photos above. Lightroom CC did most of the work. Played with the highlights and clarity, but the result is astonishing.

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This is from the top of the ossuary. With 16,142 graves, it’s the largest French cemetery of World War One.

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This one is from my iPhone 6s with a quick edit using the Lightroom mobile app. It’s hard to see, but one section of the cemetery looks slightly different. These are fallen Muslims, facing East. The building visible in the middle of the photo is the memorial for the Muslim soldiers. A memorial for the Jewish dead is on the Western side of the cemetery.

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These two photos are from the next morning. I visited Fleury, a destroyed village, and the Verdun Memorial.

Equipment:
Nikon D5300
Nikon DX VR AF-P NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6
iPhone 6s

Editing:
Adobe Lightroom CC
Adobe Lightroom iPhone