Verdun is burning. Every instant, the whistling of a shell forces you to the ground to avoid the shrapnel. Fleury is a scant 100 metres aways. Despite sustained machine gun fire, we can't resist taking one last look "over there". "Over there" is the never-ending battle, unrelenting hell, shrapnel scything through the troops, the rat-tat-tat-tat-tat of machines guns, instruments of death.
A French soldier on the battlefield, 21 February 1916