World War One lately as background to my Trench Raiders series. I've managed to visit several fronts of the war--the Salonika Front, the Italian Front, even the Mesopotamian Front. It wasn't until late last year, though, that I got to visit the main event at the Western Front.
Some of the first battles occurred in Belgium, as German armies swept through on their way to invade France and hopefully take Paris. In their way stood several antiquated forts along the Belgian border, including the fort of Loncin around the industrial Belgian city of Namur. The forts' outdated construction couldn't hold against modern artillery, but it did manage to hold out for a few days, ruining the German timetable for invasion and giving the French and British armies time to get organized.
Thousands of Belgian troops died defending these forts, and parts of the fort at Loncin have been turned into a monument in their memory. Check out the link to see more photos from my visit to the Namur forts.
This memorial plaque shows a Belgian and German soldier standing together at the entrance to the fort.