Robert Meyer wrote:
> I think the French battle cry was "On ne passe pas!" ("They shall
> not pass", correct me in my French is faulty Raphael or whoever). Anyway,
> the French lost about a half million men, but the Germans also lost about a
> half million, so everything was pretty well a waste.
Kate Troy wrote:
> "Ils ne passeront pas" would be better,
RaphaŽl Ingelbien wrote:
> "On ne passe pas" means "No-one shall pass".
> "They shall not pass" would be "Ils ne passeront pas".
Searching Google for "On ne passe pas" and Verdun brought up about 65
pages while a search for "Ils ne passeront pas" and Verdun brought up
about 75 webpages.
Here is one page in English: "The Battle of Verdun"
The page says:
... General Joseph Joffre, the French Commander and Chief, dedicated
to ceasing further French retreat, assigned General Henri Philippe
Petain to command the French army at Verdun. Petain fought with the
motto "Ils ne passeront pas," which means, "They shall not pass!"
The page starts out with:
A major military engagement of World War I, the Battle of Verdun was a
ten month long ordeal between the French and German armies. The battle
was part of an unsuccessful German campaign to take the offensive on
the western front. Both the French and German armies suffered
incredibly with an estimated 540,000 French and 430,000 German
casualties and no strategic advantages were gained for either
side. The Battle of Verdun is considered to be one of the most brutal
events of World War I, and the site itself is remembered as the
"battlefield with the highest density of dead per square yard."