The Treaty of Frankfurt enraged the French citizens as Alsace and part of Lorraine were annexed by the German Empire. The loss of their territory inspired patriotic and nationalist literature but also created a second agenda for them during World War I, which was to get revenge and reclaim their lost land. Many of their battles would take place on the Vosges Front, which was the only area in the Western Front to see mountain fighting during the Great War. The French and Germans would constantly fight over a hill known as “La Fontenelles”, which was strategically important. Since both sides were fighting on a mountain, their strategy had to change because they were no longer fighting on flat territory where they could simply charge at each other or fire mortars from afar.
The Germans adapted by tunneling and mining which in return led to tunnel warfare. In order to win both sides dug tunnels, trenches, mined, and counter mined but with a hidden twist. In July 1915, a war of mines began while on the surface surprise attacks replaced regular methods. During underground battles where tunnels would be excavated, mines would be secretly placed and detonated. Sometimes soldiers would even witness several explosions in the same day but this would come to an end on July 8th, 1916 when the French were finally victorious.
Post by Arvin Ramdas