Verdun, probably THE most deadliest battlefield of World War I where the Germans and French had been fighting for months, almost a year-long battle during the Germans driving towards the French capital only to become bogged down at this mountainous, hilly section of eastern France. The Germans ended up getting stuck in the mud due to this location that both sides lost over a combined 300,000 troops! It was here that made World War I famous for its trench warfare, nothing but chaos and destruction of wasteland of barren, destroyed fields that used to be farmland, forests, and cities. The only living things that remained were the ticks, rats, and vultures that inhabited among the war-wearied troops basically fighting over a few meters of worthless dirt.
But this was some very important dirt, Earthland that Verdun sat upon because it was the beginning of the road from Verdun to Paris, the French capital, where Napoleon I used to rule the French Empire from. Some people speculate that had the Germans won the Battle of Verdun then its armies along with those of Austria-Hungary would have easily marched straight into Paris without any resistance. That likely would have ended World War I right then and there which might not have caused World War II to occur; and no rise of Hitler either as Germany would not have been forced to pay reparations to cause its economy to suffer dearly and later go through hyperinflation. Austria-Hungary would never broken up either.
It would have been a completely different world afterwards had Germany and Austria-Hungary won as both would have stayed together eiter allied or even combined into one bigger country. Also, these smaller countries that had belonged to the Hapsburgs in Vienna (Austria-Hungary) such as Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary – never have never went on their own. The German language would likely hold more sway as well and who knows what the Bundesliga would have been turned into? 40 teams in the first league? 60 teams in the second league? Bayern Munich and Dortmund would have likely to have more serious rivals.
Instead, the French put up a mighty resistance at Verdun which caused the Germans to get bogged down into trench warfare where very little gains were made. And only deaths, deaths, and more deaths until finally the United States came in to the relief of the British and French forces to finally swing the pendulum of victory towards one side. Of course, the endings of World War I only set up the beginnings of World War II so in the end, it was not much consolation at all particularly after the Germans ended up invading Paris couple of decades later and war spread all over the world.
If you’re going to visit Verdun, I highly suggest getting a car so you can drive around the place. Unlike some battlefields such as Bastogne or Waterloo where there is just one place to go visit, Verdun is more like Normandy. It’s more than just one place – the entire area was the battleground. Be sure to visit in the later spring, summer, and early fall because certain areas of Verdun close down for the season. This is due to the weather/conditions changing to where you might be knee deep in water rather than walking comfortably on dry land.