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February 1916 A.D.:  The Omen of the Battle of Verdon

  For this account I don't need to actually delve very deeply into the WWI Battle of Verdon though it was one of the most horrific battles ever known in warfare.  There is so much you could discuss.  It was epic, yet the account doesn't need to focus on the details of the battle itself.  But it will help to know a few things about it. 

  It occurred in France between the French and the Germans, and it lasted from February 1916 to December 1916, so it was a very long battle!  About 45,000,000 artillery shells were used by the two antagonists combined.  The ten month battle left vast areas of overlapping pits in the ground.  The dirt was so overturned and disturbed by explosions that there were areas of the vast churned up arena where it was remarked that there was more rotting human flesh and human bones (literally) in the soil than soil.  When the pits filled with water this mixture of fat, flesh, mud and water made such a slippery slime that men who fell into the pits left behind by the exploding shells sometimes drowned in them, unable to successfully crawl out. 

  Officially, about 337,000 Germans died there at Verdon, but about 377,000 French as well.  That's about 714,000 dead from one battle.  Unofficially the guess is that many more than this died there, and that the actual figure is in the high 900,000 range.  Many were never found.  It was a blood bath.  It was horrible, soul destroying, insane carnage.  Soldiers wrote of it in that manner.  What they saw with their eyes scorched their mind for life in many cases. 

  The French dealt with that aspect of Verdon by transferring soldiers in and out on a rotation basis.  Therefore, their soldiers had to endure it for less time, but many more of the French were exposed to it....and so affected by it.  A relatively large fraction of the French soldiers experienced the 'mincing machine of Verdon' as many called it. 

  The Germans, though guilty of being 'the invaders', also suffered horrribly but were not rotated out in the same manner.  In many cases, they got to enjoy the whole 10 months of what may be the planet's worst battle scene.

  It was a giant meat grinder.  Its impact on the strength of the French military machine was brutal though the French eventually drove the Germans back off of the ground the Germans had seized in the beginning.  But the ground was not all that important strategically.  It was merely the thing that was incidentally being fought over.  As with many such battles the final victory went more to a survivor than a winner. 

  So, for France, this could pretty aptly be called 'the battle of battles!' for their homeland, for their Republic.  It negatively affected their military strength for quite some time afterwards as one could easily imagine.  A loss of 1/3 to 1/2 of a million young men is going to affect a lot of French families.  Back in Germany the same was true.  

  Now, let's shift the talk to Paris, France, to a national monument of great political and social importance to the French:  the Arc de' Triomphe outside of Paris.  It was a project dreamed up by Napolean.  His nation would have a giant stone arch on one of the entrance roads to its most celebrated city.  It would be a monumental arch, the largest in the world.  Visitors, armies, leaders, and everyday people would pass by it and under it as they traveled.  It would have beautiful and elaborate stone friezes and bas relief carvings in numerous areas of its visible surfaces.  It would be a sight to see, and a pretty appropriate monument for art loving France!!  (A tomb for unknown soldiers lays beneath it as well). 

  Napolean did not survive to see it completed, but as the decades which followed him rolled by it was eventually brought to the full attainment of those who designed it, and it is a striking 50 meters tall, massive, beautifully adorned, and held to be something of a treasure by the French people.  Enemies have invaded and passed beneath it.  The French have rallied and driven them back out and passed beneath it as well.  And not just once.  It has a history!

  But speaking of those carvings, those friezes and bas reliefs that grace the Arc de' Triomphe, there is one called La Marseillaise which shows a group of heroicly depicted military volunteers.  They are warriors, dressed in Greek or perhaps Homeric fashion, one is even nude, and they stand in a group ready to sally out and defend their homeland.  It was carved by a certain Francois Rude and it was done very well.  The gallant figures are full of courage and zeal for France and ready to go meet the enemy who threatens their home land with battle.  And above them, floating, is a winged female figure urging them on, a  'Genius', the particular 'Genius' named Liberty.  And in her hand is a sword held up and pointed generally toward some unseen battlefield or invading enemy.  She urges this clutch of brave French patriots out to meet the threat.  It is pictured here:

the Volunteers


  So, here is what is very interesting and quite ironic, and in my mind a thing that is surely an act of God.  On the day that this battle of all French battles commenced, on the day when what would eventually come to be the nearly 500,000 French dead began to accumulate, on the day that the 45,000,000 exploding shells began to be exchanged between these two geat armies, on that fateful, bloody, horrible sad and monumental day, a strange thing happened in Paris where the Arc de' Triomphe stood.  It happened to that carving of 'the Volunteers'.  The Genius named Liberty, who as a figure in the carving personifies the Republic of France, the figure that was holding the sword, that figure was party to a very odd event:  the blade of her sword broke off.  Apparently it just fell off, cause unknown.  I did not find any place that tried to mention any impact, etc., which knocked it off.  It seems it just fell off on that momentous day.

  They say that the whole carved depiction of the Volunteers was quickly covered with a tarp so that it would not be discussed or perceived as a bad omen and so dishearten the people.  Understandable!  And maybe a smart move.  After all, the French did eventually win that viciously fought battle....sort of.  It was nearly a half million French lives later, perhaps, but they won the battle!  So the broken off sword did not apparently foretell defeat.  It may have pointed to a damaging, almost Phyrric victory, though.  It was a victory that somewhat blunted the military might of the very French Republic which won it, and again.... the winged female figure holding the sword was supposed to represent the Republic! 

  But how odd the timing can sometimes be for such things, for such odd and hard to interpret signs.  Yet God, who controls all things and foresees all things, certainly does give us hints that big gears are turning, big events are underway.  We may not always know what to think of the many signs in their numerous varying forms, but they do remind us that there is a God watching over it all.....and sometimes intervening!  It all works out to the fulfillment of His plan  - that much we know.  But the rest can be pretty murky for the men slugging it out in the trenches, the women keeping things together back home, the old and the young who are hostage to the particulars of the outcome, and to the less involved nations also waiting to see what that end result will be, and what changes will come to their lives because of it. 

  There are so often signs at the major turning points in history.  And so often they are somewhat mysterious, but end up predicting the story quite well if we had only known how to view the thing!  The mind of God is essentially out of human reach.  His thoughts are not our thoughts, as the scripture says.  And His ways are higher than ours.




  My name is Dan Curry and I just wanted to make brief mention of something to you, if you will in spare a minute. 

  I personally believe that realizing how many great deeds of God have actually occurred through out history will lead some people to be saved giving their life to Christ.  If you agree, then please, take the time to be a 'missionary', to love your neighbor enough to care about their soul.  Please mention and recommend visiting the Deeds of God website on any social media sites that you belong to.  Tell a favorite account to your friends or family, and tell them where you read it.  To know God is to stand in awe of Him, but too few people know Him today.  Accounts like these are yet another way to come to know Jesus and the Holy Father, and the Spirit of Truth that helps us understand.  Thank you.  Dan Curry



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