This tour offers the chance to study two types of warfare: the horrifically murderous mobile warfare of the early days of the war, and static warfare as illustrated by the fighting for the Eparges spur.
Troyon Fort This fort became famous in September 1914 when, by opposing the advance of the Army of the German Crown Prince and preventing the encirclement of Verdun, it played an important role in bringing about victory at the Battle of the Marne. The architecture of the fort is an admirable example of the work of Séré de Rivière.
The grave of Alain-Fournier Alain-Fournier, author of Le Grand Meaulnes and second lieutenant in the 288th lnfantry Regiment, fell in the Tranchée de Calonne sector on 22nd September, 1914, in circumstances which are still surrounded by controversy. His body was only found in 1991. This tour is an opportunity to retrace the steps of one of the most brilliant writers of his generation and to reflect on his untimely death.
Le Site des Eparges The Eparges spur, to the west of Verdun, is a natural observatory dominating the Woëvre plain. Occupied in September 1914 by German troops, the spur was an object of prime importance to the French general staff. The appalling conditions and terrible fighting which took place there in 1915 were recorded by Maurice Genevoix of the Académie Française, then a second-lieutenant in the 106th lnfantry Regiment, in his classic book Ceux de 14. He wrote “What we have done is more than could be asked of men but we did it”. The Eparges spur is one of the most striking sites of the Great War.