World War One: 1914-18 - Battles Of 1916 On The Western Front - 1

World War One is amongst the topics studied in GCSE History and one aspect of it looked at is the events which took place during war itself. This is the second of eight quizzes on that subject. It is also the first of two quizzes looking specifically at the battles which took place on the Western Front in 1916.

In 1916 the war of attrition continued on the Western Front with several battles taking place. The Germans tried to dislodge the French from the fortress complex of Verdun, while the British tried to assist the embattled French by launching a massive frontal attack further west along the River Somme.

See how much you know about the battles which took place on the Western Front in 1916 by playing this quiz.

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  1. Why was Falkenhayn, the German commander, prepared to commit so many troops to attacking French positions at Verdun?
    Falkenhayn seemed obsessed with Verdun
  2. In the early stages of the battle a new French commander was appointed, whose catchphrase was "Ils ne passeront pas". Who was this general?
    Both sides were prone to changing commanders if success proved elusive for too long
  3. What is the significance of the Battle of Verdun in world history?
    Verdun is ingrained in the French collective memory, but ultimately the German attack was called off
  4. After the war the French erected a huge memorial at Fort Douaumont to commemorate their dead at Verdun. What form did this memorial take?
    The casualties at Verdun shattered the French. They were determined to construct a memorial that honoured appropriately the many thousands of French troops who gave their lives at Verdun
  5. Verdun was unusual among Great War battles in the comparative casualties on the two sides. What was odd about the comparable figures?
    Verdun was a terrible killing machine. Survivors on both sides considered themselves "special"
  6. The road from Verdun to Bar-le-Duc was a vital supply lifeline for the French. What name was it given, indicating its importance?
    Rapid re-supply was crucial for both sides. The French relied on this road, which was never cut by the enemy - despite almost continuous bombardment designed to interdict it
  7. Falkenhayn was relieved of his position as Chief of Staff by the Kaiser towards the end of the campaign. Who replaced him?
    The Kaiser also felt that a more aggressive approach was needed
  8. A new French commander was appointed on the 1st of May 1916, as Joffre and the French cabinet favoured a more aggressive approach. Whom did they choose?
    Commanding French forces at Verdun was an impossible task. No strategy seemed to work, and the Germans were determined to keep up the pressure
  9. Apart from Fort Douaumont, which major fortress was lost and then recovered by the French?
    The Verdun area was delineated by a complex of fortresses, of which two were especially significant
  10. Which member of the German royal family, the Hohenzollerns, commanded the German Fifth Army at Verdun?
    The royal prince had considerable military experience, and his appearance at Verdun was thought to be good for morale

Author: Edward Towne

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