Verdun is a town in northeastern France, on the Meuse River. It is most known for being near the site of one of the major battles of World War I, the Battle of Verdun. The town is about 20 miles north of Souilly.
Adventures in Verdun
In September 1916, Indiana Jones, as Corporal Henri Defense, was a Belgian courier, delivering written orders from the French generals at the 2nd Army headquarters in Souilly and the French units at the front at Verdun, which had been a battleground for the past few months. On his first mission, he delivered orders to Colonel Barc at the Battalion headquarters. Barc was unable to phone the orders to the front, so he sent Jones to deliver them in person - the order to attack Fort Douaumont, which was now in German control. Running to the trenches, Jones found Major Gaston, who dutifully started the attack. As soldiers prepared for battle, one soldier gave Jones his box of keepsakes, to give to his wife Nicole. Jones watched in horror as the French soldiers charged into the no man's land, and were mowed down by German machine guns. A man whom Jones had seen praying with his rosary before the battle fell back into the trench dead, still clutching his rosary. After the charge was repulsed, Gaston gave Jones a casualty report to take back. Hearing a wounded soldier still lying in the no man's land, Jones bravely ran out and brought the man back to the trenches, then returned to Souilly with the casualty report.
Sometime later, Jones visited Remy Baudouin in a French military hospital in the town. Baudouin, claiming that the surgeons had left the bullet in him, was calmed down by Jones, who brought him German cigarettes. Leaving, Jones learned from a nurse that Baudouin, though not fully healed, was scheduled to return to the front the next day.
While making a motorcycle courier mission out of the town, Jones came under attack from a German plane. The German pilot fired on Jones and eventually dropped a bomb, before believing the courier finished and leaving the area. Jones pulled himself out of the bomb crater, and drove to the artillery units, where he met a gunnery sergeant, who explained that while the French had small and medium sized artillery, the Germans had a unit called Big Bertha, which would annihilate the French forces if it ever came to Verdun.
A night later, Jones, recruited by the French because of his German language fluency, was sent on a spy mission to sneak across no man's land to the German command bunker. Warned that the Germans did not take spies alive, Jones crawled across the debris zone, encountering a wounded French soldier before reaching the German side. Bored by their small talk, Jones made a small snoring sound which alerted the German commanders to send out a guard. More alert, Jones overheard the German leaders mentioning that two Big Bertha guns were coming to the front on the next day. Jones managed to get the jump on the guard sent to find him and raced back through no man's land. Reaching the foxhole where the wounded soldier was, he discovered the French soldier dead, and a seemingly dead German soldier alive - and attacking. Jones managed to steal the soldier's rifle, and used its bayonet against the German's charge. Gaston pulled Jones back to the trenches, and they reported to Barc what Jones had learned.
Despite the news of the impending arrival of the enemy Big Bertha guns, General Robert Nivelle ordered another attack on Fort Douaumont. When General Henri Philippe Pétain corroborated Jones' intelligence, he ordered the attack be canceled, and sent a courier to deliver the new order. Jones ran into Baudouin, marching back to the front. General Joseph Joffre arrived at Souilly, and re-authorized the attack over Pétain's disagreement. Barc, on the phone with Joffre, unwilling to attack, demanded written orders to override Petain's written orders that had just arrived. Joffre quickly wrote up orders, and sent them with Jones back to the front. Jones, knowing that the attack would be futile with the German artillery, rode quickly through the countryside and the town of Verdun towards the trenches. Passing the town, Jones reached an empty spot in the road. Slipping the orders into his motorcycle's gas tank, Jones ignited his motorcycle and fled as his vehicle exploded -- sparing the soldiers at the front from certain death.
Locations in the Verdun area
- Town of Verdun
- Fort Douaumont
- Meuse River
- French battalion headquarters
- French trenches
- French artillery stations
- German trenches
- German command bunker
- The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles – "Verdun, September 1916" → Demons of Deception
- Verdun, September 1916 comic
- The Peril of the Fort
- Field of Death
- The Day of Destiny
- The Battle of Verdun (Non-fiction source)
- Into the Furnace - The Battle of Verdun (Non-fiction source)
- War and Revolution (Non-fiction source)