The attack

The german infantry attack engaged at 5 p.m.from Ornes until Bois Haumont. The three army corps III. VII. XVIII. began with the advance, but they were stopped by the french XXX. army corps, until 3 days later the reinforcement arrived. A heroful fight followed up to a never precedented artillery preparation in the war. The rifleman of the Colonel Driant defend the Bois de Caures not to loose an inch. In the evening the progress of the Germans, insignificant contrary to their casualities, is to take the Bois Haumont.

On February 22, the artillery fire begins again in snow and increases increasingly; in the Bois des Caures surrounded from two sides the hunters of Colonels Driant offered embittered resistance. The Colonel falls, after he let his troops go back to the village Beaumont.

On 23rd the fight increases. The village Brabant falls after embittered resistance of the french infantry regiment 351 into the hand of the Germans. East the battle continues to rave particularly furiously, the Frenchmen undertakes unsuccessful counter attacks in the Caures forest and even the Herbebois forest is attacked. The 51st french infantry division evades and the Germans must pay their progress toward Bois de Fosses expensively. In the evening the line goes from Samogneux over Beaumont to Ornes.

During the night Samogneux is taken by the Germans. On 24th the Germans strengthen their attack troops. The German supreme command required of them extreme effort of force and it succeeds to them, although by the French artillery of the left side of the Meuse prevented, to take the height 344 east Samogneux, Bois de Fosses, Bois de Chaume and the village Ornes.

On 25th, the 37th french infantry division get carried out, which is assigned to the defense of the Cote Talou and the village Lovemont. It is enough for the persistent attacks resistance, but right of them, the german troops succeeds in occupying the Bois de Vauche. They advance against the village Douaumont and take the fort in a surprise coup. Their attacks against the village fail according to the resistance of the 31st french Brigade. The progress of the Germans on this side does not remain without influence on the 37th infantry division, which sees itself forced to give up the Cote des Talou.

Simultaneous in the Woevre plain, which frontline is projecting, only held by weak forces in dangerous way to the foot of the hills of the Meuse. The withdrawal could be developed hidden by a delaying action, thus that the new selected positions could be established.

In the night the command over the army of Verdun get transfered to General Petain. He arrange to connect at least the Forts by a unsuspended line of trenches. It is put on in the middle in the battle. Petain intends a whole division for the finishing of the slopes before the 2nd and 3rd line, it sets 13 battalions, in order to hold the road leading from Bar le Duc across Souilly after Verdun in conditions. The Voie Sacrée becomes the main traffic vein for the supply of crews and ammunition.

The 39th infantry division, which stepped to the place of 37th, rejects all attacks on the Cote du Poivre in the course of 26th victoriously; a brigade holds the village Douaumont up to the separation in the evening by the 2nd infantry division.

On the following days the fight at the edges and in the roads of Douaumont continues, until it can be finally taken on March, 04. The German raid cannot be accomplished however in same strength longer, it had no progress. In Douaumont the German attack comes to end, in addition flank fire comes from the left bank of the Meuse. From this time the operations take place either at the same time or successively on both banks of the Meuse.

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