"In Verdun when you got there, you were in the crucible – there was no way out.
"Soldiers could see it for miles, glowing in the distance because of the artillery bombardment.
"Now that battle of attrition was unique in history because its initial purpose was not to win it, but to create a kind of stalemate in which the other side would be worn down so severely that they would be unable to attack or maybe even to prosecute the war at all. It's a form of attrition to yield a victory after a mountain of corpses was produced. It's a new kind of war.
"This is one gigantic machine created by a huge industrialized nation, besieging another industrialized nation in the space of twenty kilometers. It's like a giant funnel, into which are poured the huge armaments and men of two of the largest and most advanced nations of the time. And what they did it for? Virtually nothing."