Butte des Eparges

In September 1914, after the initial advance into France had been halted, the Germans once again went on the offensive, capturing land south of Verdun, an area that would be known as the St. Miheil Salient.  The Germans strongly fortified the Butte des Eparges to the east of the town of Eparges.  The high ground there overlooks the Woevre plain to the east.  By February 1915, the French high command became concerned with Verdun;  the St. Miheil Salient cut off one of the two major rail lines into Verdun, and a German advance in the Argonne Forest took another rail line to Verdun out of action.  In addition to attacks on Butte Vauquois, the French high command ordered the recapture of the St. Miheil Salient, including the Butte des Eparges on its northern side.  On February 17, 1915, the French conducted a major attack, preceded by the explosion of four mines.  Fighting continued into April.  Point C was captured on April 9th.  Most of the ridge re-captured with the exception of Point X that month.  Point X would hold out until the American St. Miheil offensive in 1918.  In all, nearly 300 mines were blown on the ridge during the war, with the largest being about 30 tons.


This is the view of the French side of the ridge, visible at right, with the cemetert at the foot of the ridge.  Down the ridge, at right center, French troops attacked up the Ravin de a Mort.


Monument to the 106th Regiment of Infantry

Mine Craters

Point X

Here, you can see that the ridge dominates the Woevre Plain.

Copyright 2010-11 by John Hamill

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