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Verdun: Visions of History

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Verdun: Visions of History
Verdun, visions d'histoire
Verdun 1928.jpg
Movie Poster
Country FRA.jpg France
Directed by Léon Poirier
Release Date November 8, 1928
Language Silent
Studio Compagnie Universelle Cinématographique (CUC)
Distributor Compagnie Universelle Cinématographique (CUC)
Main Cast
Character Actor
French soldier Albert Préjean
German soldier Fritz Hans Brausewetter
German Captain Thomy Bourdelle
The intellectual Antonin Artaud
The chaplain André Nox

Verdun: Visions of History is a 1928 French silent film directed by Léon Poirier that recounts the Battle of Verdun, which took place in 1916 during the First World War. It is as much a documentary as a work of fiction. Apart from a few brief scenes, most of the film shows the fighting from both the French and the enemy's point of view. Archival footage is also used, such as that showing Wilhelm II, where fiction is skillfully blended with reality. The film was shot at the very scene of the carnage. Ten years after the end of the conflict, Poirier used the battlefields and ruins of the forts at Vaux and Douaumont. The French and German extras are veterans of the war, along with a few professional actors. Recruits completed the extras.

A sound version, Verdun, souvenirs d'histoire, was produced in 1931.

The following weapons were used in the film Verdun: Visions of History:


Luger P08

A Luger P08 is briefly seen in the hand of a German soldier.

Luger P08 - 9x19mm
The crawling soldier holds the Luger.


Berthier Mle. 1907/15 M16

Various French soldiers are armed with Berthier Mle 1907-16 rifles. The use of this rifle at the beginning of the battle is anachronistic.

Berthier Fusil Modèle 1907/15 M16 - 8x50mmR Lebel
A French soldier on the right carries his Berthier with fixed Rosalie bayonet.
Another soldier fires his rifle at incoming Germans.
The left side of the receiver is seen.

Lebel Mle. 1886

The majority of French soldiers use Lebel 1886 M93 rifles.

Lebel Fusil modèle 1886 - 8x50mmR Lebel
French soldiers block the entrance to Fort de Vaux.
A slung Lebel.
French soldiers rest next to their Lebels inside Fort de Vaux.
A closer view of more resting soldiers.
French soldiers advance in No Man's Land.

Mauser Gewehr 1898

German soldiers use Mauser Gewehr 1898 rifles. Stoßtrupps (Shock Troops) also use this rifle instead of Mauser 98AZ Carbines.

Mauser Gewehr 1898 - 7.92x57mm Mauser
The German Captain (Thomy Bourdelle) and Fritz (Hans Brausewetter) with Gewehr 98s are pinned down by French machine gun fire.
A closer view of the Captain's rifle.
German soldiers salute the defenders of Fort de Vaux with their Gewehr 98s.
The Lange Visier rear sight is seen on the left.

Mauser Karabiner 1871

An unused Mauser Karabiner 1871 is seen inside an observation bunker.

Mauser Karabiner 1871 - 11.15x60mmR
A promotional picture of actor Hans Brausewetter.
The Karabiner is visible behind him.

Lee-Enfield No. 1 Mk. III*

British soldiers can be seen with Lee-Enfield No.1 Mk.III* rifles during preparations for the Battle of the Somme. These scenes are documentary footage.

Lee-Enfield No. 1 Mark III* - .303 British
Ver smle1.jpg
Ver smle2.jpg

Machine Guns

Hotchkiss Mle. 1914

French soldiers use Hotchkiss M1914 Machine Guns in the battle.

Hotchkiss Modèle 1914 - 8x50mmR Lebel
French operate the Hotchkiss from a fortified postion.
The Hotchkiss lies on its side after a grenade explosion.

Maxim MG 08

The Maxim MG08 is used by German soldiers.

Maxim MG 08 - 7.92x57mm Mauser
A German soldier on the left attacks on Fort de Vaux while carrying the Maxim on his shoulder.
German soldiers deploy the Maxim.
The MG 08 fired by German soldiers.

Vickers Aircraft Machine Gun

Two Vickers Aircraft Machine Guns are mounted on a French plane.

Vickers Aircraft Machine Gun
Ver vickers.jpg

Hand Grenades

Model 1914 Ball Grenade

Some French soldiers use the Model 1914 Ball Grenade during the battle.

Model 1914 ball grenade without fuse.
A soldier taking German prisoners while holding the Ball grenade.

Model 24 Stielhandgranate

German soldiers use anachronistic Model 24 Stielhandgranates instead of correct Model 15 or Model 16 Stielhandgranates.

Model 24 Stielhandgranate
German soldiers with their grenades.

Model 16 Stielhandgranate

What appears to be a correct Model 16 Stielhandgranate can be seen in a German trench.

Model 16 Stielhandgranate
The Stielhandgranate is seen on the right above the soldier's helmet. It has a thicker warhead and a star-shaped cap.


Chobert Mle. 1917

A German soldier is seen firing a Chobert Mle. 1917 flare pistol standing in for the Hebel M1894.

The soldier fires.

Canon de 75 mm Mle. 1897

Canon 75 mm modèle 1897 - 75x350mmR
Ver m97 1.jpg
Ver m97 2.jpg

Canon de 155 C, Mle. 1917 Schneider

Canon 155 mm Mle. 1917

7.58 cm Minenwerfer

Leichter Minenwerfer neuer Art - 75.8mm (2.99 in)

10.5 cm leFH 16

Leichte Feldhaubitze 16 - 105x155mmR
Ver FH16 1.jpg
Ver FH16 2.jpg

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