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[[File: Battelfield Verdun.jpg|thumbnail|200px|The battlefield in 2005]]
==Military Reasons for the Failure==
There were several reasons for the failure of the Germans to achieve their objectives on the almost year-long battle of Verdun. The Germans had underestimated the depth and extent of the French fortifications and also their ability to repair them in lulls during the battle. The French defences were much more resilient than the High Command in Berlin had anticipated. Then the French artillery had performed much better than expected. They had been located on the heights above the Meuse River and they were able to kill and wound thousands of German soldiers. Then there was the Anglo-French offensive on the Somme. Von Falkenhayn had underestimated the ability of the British to launch an attack. When Haig ordered the British over the top, the Germans were not prepared. This meant that in order to salvage the situation on the Somme sector, that the Germans had to move badly needed forces out of Verdun and towards the Somme <ref> Keegan, p 167</ref>. Some four divisions had to be transferred from an assault on Verdun, in order to help defend German positions on the Somme. This meant that the German advance lost steam in the Summer of 1916 and they were reduced to only local offensives. The commanders in Berlin were forced to use most of their strategic reserves on the Somme and the units in Verdun were starved of any reinforcements. The fighting in the Verdun sector was intense and many divisions became badly depleted and they were unable to receive the reinforcements that they needed and this prevented them from continuing with their offensive</ref> Phillpott, p. 245</ref>. The transfer of German units from Verdun meant that they were eventually forced to adopt a defensive posture. This encouraged the French to launch a full-scale offensive and to many local successes in the Autumn of 1916.