The battlefields of Verdun are among the most haunting on the Western Front: vast acres of forest with crumbling trenches, bunkers and shell holes. In 1916 more than 770,000 French and Germans became casualties here and more than a thousand high explosive shells fell for every square meter of the battlefield.
The French National Cemetery at Douaumont stands in the heart of the battlefield overlooking the scenes of some of its most bitter fighting in 1916. Here are the graves of more than 16,000 French soldiers and a mass grave of 592 burials. Among the dead are 1781 Muslim soldiers which highlight the heavy losses among French Colonial soldiers at Verdun.