Explore the double summit of Dead Man’s Hill, starting at the jump-off line where the Germans started their assault in March 1916.
The Battle of Verdun had started on February 21, 1916, but the assault on the Western Bank of the Meuse River was only launched on March 6, nearly two weeks later. The attack came as no surprise to the French defenders. As a result, the Germans suffered heavily from strong French resistance. It took them nine days of heavy fighting to take the Northern Summit on March 14.
After a subsequent quiet period, the next large-scale German attack took place in the second half of May 1916. The successful final push on May 20 brought the Germans on top of the Southern summit of Dead Man’s Hill. However, the French and German fighting on the Western Bank of the Verdun Battlefield soon came to a stalemate.
In 1917 a large French offensive threw the Germans back to their jump-off line west of the Meuse River. The American Meuse-Argonne Offensive in late 1918 led to the last heavy fighting in that area and ended with the Armistice on November 11, 1918.
Tour length and geography can vary based on client availability, interest level and physical ability. Tour length can last from six hours to several days to explore this operation in depth. The most interesting part is the walk from Forges Forest to the southern summit of Dead Man’s Hill, following in the footsteps of the advancing German troops.