Photo Gallery: Remembering 'La Grande Guerre' 01/17/2014
 The passionate commemoration of World War I is a vital element of France's...
AFP

The passionate commemoration of World War I is a vital element of France's contemporary national cohesion. But before a momentous turning point in August 1914, the country looked to be on the brink of defeat. This photo shows French soldiers moving into attack from their trench during the Battle of Verdun in eastern France in 1916, which cost hundreds of thousands of French and German lives.