"And they did not pass" - Main entrance and gate into city of Verdun, France


"And they did not pass" - Main entrance and gate into city of Verdun, France

Alternative Title

Gate into city of Verdun


For generations Verdun (ver'dun’) will be to the French nation a synonym for the most heroic courage, the most devoted patriotism. For five months, under a deluge of shot and shell, poison gas and liquid fire, impossible of adequate description by pen or tongue, French soldiers held at bay and finally defeated the elite of the German army under the personal command of the Crown Prince. The great battle began on February 21, 1916. Germany began her preparations months beforehand. Unheard of masses of heavy artillery were assembled ; macadam roads were built ; strategic railway spurs were constructed between the hills ; 300,000 of Germany's choicest troops rehearsed for weeks the method of attack. When the storm broke on this February day, the first line trenches of the French army were wiped out of existence, the very tops of the hills were blown off. But the French "poilu" held fast. Buried under crumbling trenches, choked by poisonous gases, burned to cinders by liquid fire, he still held fast. "They shall not pass," he said—and they did not. Verdun is in the northeastern part of France, directly opposite the frontier of German Lorraine. The two crenelated towers which guard the entrance to the city were built in the 15th century. The fortifications of Verdun are built, not in the city itself, but on the summits of sixteen surrounding hills. At the time of the German attack there were eighteen principal forts of modern type and as many redoubts and batteries crowning every hill in the neighborhood of the city. These fortifications were thirty miles in circumference. Within these thirty miles lay a score of pretty villages and suburbs, now all in ruins.

Spatial Coverage



1 stereograph : b&w
1 gelatine silver print stereograph (8 x 15 cm) mounted on card (9 x 18 cm)


Copyright. The Keystone View Company
No known restrictions on publication


World War through the stereoscope

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Keystone View Company, “"And they did not pass" - Main entrance and gate into city of Verdun, France,” Monash Collections Online, accessed May 30, 2024, https://repository.monash.edu/items/show/25563.

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