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After 100 years World War I battlefields are poisoned and uninhabitable

Stashed in: History!, Awesome, Military!, Europe

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People are still being killed, maimed, and poisoned by ordnance from WWI -- which happened 100 years ago.

It's going to take centuries to clean up the 9 villages that died for France.

During the Battle of Verdun, which lasted over 300 days in 1916, more than 60 million artillery shells were fired by both sides – many containing poisonous gases. These massive bombardments and the brutal fighting inflicted horrifying casualties, over 600,000 at Verdun and over 1 million at the Somme. But the most dangerous remnants of these battles are the unexploded ordnance littering the battlefield.


Though the Zone Rouge started at some 460 square miles in size, cleanup efforts reduced it to around 65 square miles. With such massive amounts of explosives left in the ground, the French government estimates the current rate of removal will clear the battlefields between 300 and 900 years from now.

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