Lt. Col. Driant

On the first day of the battle, February 21, 1916, the 56th and 59th Battalions of Chasseurs a Pied under Lt. Col. Emile Driant were the focus of the German bombardment.  The 1,200 men were reduced to 118 survivors.  Driant was among the killed, cut down by a machine gun as he tried to help one of his men.  Driant had been a politician and had argued that Verdun was inadequately defended.  In death, he became a hero to France.

This French line was on this ridge, with the Germans attacking from the right side of the panorama.  Across the road is a monument to the French units and Col. Driant's tomb.


The Germans buried Driant here.  After the war, his body was exhumed, and he was buried near the monument by the road.

Copyright 2010-11 by John Hamill

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