The German 5th Army attacked the defences of the Région Fortifiée de Verdun (RFV) and those of the French Second Army on the right bank of the Meuse.
Inspired by the experience of the Second Battle of Champagne the year before, the Germans planned to rapidly capture the Meuse Heights, providing them with an excellent defensive position that would also allow them to bombard Verdun with observed artillery fire.
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The Germans were able to advance at first but French reinforcements contained the attacks short of their objectives.
), fought from 21 February to 18 December 1916, was one of the largest and longest battles of the First World War on the Western Front between the German and French armies.
The battle took place on the hills north of Verdun-sur-Meuse in north-eastern France.
Afterwards the German advance slowed, despite heavy French losses.
By 6 March, French divisions were in the RFV and a more extensive defence in depth had been constructed.