Michel was an older French soldier serving in the 2nd Army, during World War I. Along with his military gear at the Battle of Verdun, he carried a small box of personal possessions, including a photograph of his wife, Nicole.
In September 1916, he was in a unit led by Major Gaston, in the trenches north of Verdun. After a Belgian courier arrived with orders to attack Fort Douaumont, the soldier, recognizing his own likely mortality in battle, opened his box, and showed the young courier the picture of his wife, explaining that she lived in Marseilles, and her address was in the box, and that the box needed to be sent to her.
The courier took the box, though claiming that he couldn't accept it. Gaston's whistle blew, and the soldier charged up out of the trenches, and into no man's land. After the initial charge halted in no man's land, Gaston gave the order to retreat. During the retreat, the soldier was hit by machine gun fire and fell down. Another soldier came to his aid, but was also shot. The courier later attempted to rescue the men.
Two days later, the courier recalled a mental image of the older soldier handing him his possessions, and remembered the men at the front dying in battle, and used that as moral justification for destroying new orders to attack the fort, which would have resulted in their slaughter from increased German arms.
Behind the scenes Edit
- The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles – "Verdun, September 1916" → Demons of Deception
- Verdun, September 1916 comic
- Field of Death
- The Day of Destiny
- The Mata Hari Affair