14 November 2018

Drei Franzosen

Le Petit Donon, Vosges, France
Category: Historic Landscapes   Tags: WWI
Drei Franzosen - André Ruiter Photography

Le Petit Donon is one of the northern summits of the Vosges Mountains. In 1914 a short but fierce battle took place between the German and French armies. It ended with a German victory.

The dead were buried on the mountain in individual or collective graves, marked by wooden crosses. In 1916, corporal Ludwig Gebhardt was commissioned by the German military command to replace the crosses with steles engraved on sandstone blocks. Each stele includes a serial number, regimental number, rank and name of the buried (if known).

After the war the bodies were reburied at other cemeteries. The many steles remained and can be found around the summit.