This trip brings you to the Eastern part of the Champagne region and especially to the famous Kanonenberg and the hand of Massiges
Combats during World War 1 focused very often on some points, mostly situated on high ground. So it is in that part of the Champagne area. Here, a major part of the former battlefields lay on military training ground and are not open to public. Nonetheless, I propose a walk around the Kanonenberg for several hours passing by various German installations that made the Kanonenberg a real fortress.
Beside this, there are several very interesting and impressive monuments worth seeing, former camps and staging areas and great number of concrete bunkers.
Fighting in this part of the Champagne region started already at the end of 1914 just after the German retreat from the Marne River. In parallel with the Franco-British attacks in Northern France French troops tried here to break through the German lines. Weeks and month of heavy fighting and enormous losses followed without achieving the objective. From late spring 1915 on a quieter period followed until the second French offensive in late 1915. This failed as well! During these fights, five villages had been erased completely from the maps. Unfortunately, they are all situated in the military training area.
This part of Northern France saw once more military action in September 1918. During the Meuse-Argonne offensive, the French army attacked here in parallel with the US troops and pushed finally the Germans back until the armistice.
The length of this trip is depending on your availability and your ideas. It could take from six hours to several days.
I would recommend the walk over the Kanonenberg only during the winter period (from November to April).