image: a finely detailed view of the French city of Verdun under German artillery bombardment, the two towers of the
Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Verdun symbolically and defiantly standing at the top of the hill.
Verdun was symbolic of the French war effort as a vital city in the border region of Lorraine. The Battle of Verdun
raged from February to December 1916 and was one of the costliest of the First World War. Despite initial German advances and consistently
heavy fighting, French forces ultimately held on, Robert Nivelle's phrase 'Ils ne passeront pas' ('They shall not pass') characterising
resistance at Verdun and the French war effort as a whole.