Welcome to Here be Dragons Day 8.
I couldn’t let Armistice Day pass without a mention of the
Caverne du Dragon.
This site in France has a spectacular museum that takes visitors into the heart of what during World War I became known as the Dragon’s Cavern.
The caves were made from the workings of a quarry and the Germany army took them and fortified them heavily in early 1915. The cave system had seven different entrances, each with deadly machine gun posts guarding the way. Inside the elaborate system of tunnels dormitories were built, a Chapel, and a first aid unit, all powered with electricity.
It took two years of attacks by the French army and the loss of many men on both sides before the French recaptured a part of the cave system. From June 1917 a deadly game of cat and mouse began inside the tunnels, as both sides set up their lines beneath the ground with border posts and listening posts. Many men died in the skirmishes that took place.
There is far more information about the fighting and the developments of the war at the Cavern du Dragon than I can cover in a single post. If you are interested you will find more information here.
As early as 1920 the caves became a war memorial and tourist site. Eventually, in 1969 a museum was created and since has been developed so visitors today can discover for themselves what life was like in the Dragon’s Cavern.
Both sides of my family lost young men in the Great War. When the silence falls at the eleventh hour each year I think of them. I wonder what they were like and what were their hopes and dreams.
There are many dragon titles and images associated with war, from standards to helms and sword hilts from the long past, and legends too, but this one touches me in a way the others don’t. Perhaps it’s because this makes me think the recognition of the power of the dragon is something in us all.
Thanks for reading.
Tomorrow is Paranormal Romance Thursday and my guest will be Kimbra Kash.
Image ID : 23104292
Image Type : Stock Vector
Copyright : dvarg
La caverne du Dragon, Chemin des Dames, commune d'Oulches-la-Vallée-Foulon, Aisnes, France
31 August 2013