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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Today is the start of the Bataille de Verdun which took place from 21 February – 18 December of 1916.
Today I shall drink a glass of wine in honor of the men who fought, lived, wounded, missing and died at this horrific battle and to especially Colonel Émile Augustin Cyprien Driant the first high ranking casualty of the Battle of Verdun who was the Chef de Corps of the 1er Bataillon de Chasseurs à Pied (56e et 59e Bataillons de Chasseurs à Pied)
"Ils ne passeront pas/On ne passe pas" (They shall not pass) ... a simplification of the actual French text: "Vous ne les laisserez pas passer, mes camarades" (you shall not let them pass, my comrades), taken from General Robert Nivelle's Order of the day of 23 June 1916.
"Courage! On les aura" (Courage! We shall get them) ... taken from General Henri Philippe Benoni Omer Joseph Pétain Order in April 1916.

Patrick
 

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If you haven't been there, go there. And spend time at the cathedral. A place to think.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
One of the most interesting stories is of the 4ème Compagnie du 6ème Bataillon de Tirailleurs Indochinois (4th Company of the 6th Indochinese Battalion) that was one of 15 Bataillons d'étapes (Service Battalions) which arrived at Verdun in October of 1916 and was with Division Mangin when it assaulted Fort Douaumont on October 24th. They were to go right behind the main force and construct defenses but got caught up in the firestorm of combat in an artillery barrage where one officer and three Tirailleurs were killed. As the unit was constructing defenses during the day, they were attacked by a German unit and in the firefight lost another 13 killed, 20 wounded and 12 missing in action. It was during this action that Sergent Tran Tai Tao and Tirailleur Nguyên Van Dong were to be awarded the Médaille Militaire for thier heroism.
It is unfortunate that the memorial plate that was placed in 1962 at the entry of Fort Douaumont does not mention the action of the 4th Company of 6ème Bataillon de Tirailleurs Indochinois as have participated in this action.
Some of the remains of these troops from this unit are located to the Ossuaire of Douaumont where they were buried by error as Moslem.

Patrick
 
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