About Fort Vaux

Fort Vaux or 'Fort De Vaux', located just outside Verdun, was a nineteenth century defensive structure which was fiercely defended by French forces during the Battle of Verdun in World War One. It was the second such fort to be captured after the nearby Fort Douaumont.

The soldiers refused to abandon Fort Vaux, staying until they had run out of all supplies and even carrier pigeons. In a famous moment which represents French heroism, Major Raynal, who was in the fort, was using these pigeons to carry messages to his commanding officers and continued trying until he reached his final carrier pigeon, known as Cheramie.

These efforts proved futile and Fort Vaux fell to the Germans in 1916, only to be evacuated and returned to the French in November that same year. Visitors can tour the inside of Fort Vaux, which includes its impressive weaponry and, of course, the pigeon loft.

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