The Vauquois hill
The Vauquois hill in Argonne, in the département of the Meuse, was located, during the 14-18 war between the Marne and Verdun fronts. References were made to it from September 1914 when it was occupied by German troops who needed to control it for use as a strategic observatory.
The village of 168 inhabitants which stands at its summit was decimated by the fighting as both sides fought to control the hill. Soldiers from both sides quickly dug themselves in and prepared their trenches, with the Germans digging around 17 kilometres of galleries, setting up a kitchen, treatment and resting rooms and a chapel. The two armies, French and German, facing each other in the siege, would use mines between March 1915 and April 1918, mines which would literally raze the summit of the hill and reduce the village of Vauquois to ruins. The village was, however, rebuilt after the war at the foot of the battered hill, thanks to the city of Orleans, its wartime godmother.
The site, which is the property of the Minister of Culture, and covers several hectares was restored by the association of the Friends of Vauquois and its region who maintain and keep it in proper condition.
The association, which is staffed by volunteer guides and enthusiasts, lays on guided tours to the above-ground part of the site but also to the inside of the galleries and the French and German sapping.
A museum, with its collection of documents and objects discovered at the site, provides an insight into the war of the trenches and the very experience of the war of the mines.
Postal address for the association of the Friends of Vauquois and its region: 1, rue d’Orléans 55270 Vauquois
Tel: 03 29 80 73 15
Fax: 03 29 88 46 49
Internet Site: www.butte-vauquois.fr
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org