Memorial de Verdun - Verdun - France

Address: Avenue du Corps Européen, Verdun (Circuit Champ De Bataille/Verdun Area) (See map)
Telephone: +33 (0)3-29843534

Shop: shop present
Restaurant/refreshments: refreshments
Size of the museum/site: medium
Year of visit: 2002
Overall rating:

Description: In comparison to the Second World War, the First World War is hugely underrepresented in war museums. This is of course easy to explain because there simply is far more material left from WWII than from WWI and because the First World War just happened longer ago than the second one. The Memorial de Verdun is a refreshing exception, focusing mainly on the Verdun battle but giving a pretty realistic picture of First World War-fighting in general at the same time.

Apart from the uniforms, weapons and propaganda material used by both sides, the visitor also learns about the gruesome everyday life in the trenches and the cities close to the front. Especially interesting are the huge trench warfare diorama and the magnificent movie (in different languages) about the Verdun battle. Don't forget to check the opening hours at the museum's website (go to "Informations pratiques") as they sometimes are closed during lunchtime.

Front of the museum-building with some heavy artillery pieces on display.

At the outbreak of war the uniform of French infantrymen consisted of a pair of bright red trousers and a blue coat, which made them easy targets for the Germans.

French poilu (infantryman) in 1916.

Fokker E III hanging from the ceiling. The Dutch manufacturer Fokker was the first one to build a plane with a machine-gun synchronized to the engine (so that it was able to fire through its propellor without destroying it!).

Superb diorama of the devastated Verdun battlefield.

Berliet truck used to bring more and more soldiers and equipment to Verdun by the "Voie Sacrée": the only usable transport-route leading into the heavily besieged Verdun-area.

Various artillery pieces on display.

Maxim machine-gun, model of 1908. This heavy machine-gun was used by the German army during the Great War.

German 170 mm mortar for trench warfare.

A 480 kilos weighing rebuilt Nieuport aeroplane.