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The strategy adopted by the Germans was to force the French into a battle of attrition.<ref> Jankowski, P. <i>Verdun: The Longest Battle of the Great War</i> (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2013), p. 118 </ref> The Germans believed that they were the best soldiers and that in any battle, all things being equal, that they would emerge victorious. The Germans tactics at Verdun was as follows. They hoped to seize the key fortress of Verdun, which had great symbolic and strategic importance for the French. Von Falkenhayn provided five corps from the strategic reserve for the offensive at Verdun in the early spring of 1916<ref> Jankowski, p. 135</ref>. He and other members of the General Staff believed that the French would not take any offensive aimed at Verdun lightly. but only for an attack on the east bank of the Meuse. Falkenhayn considered it unlikely the French would not do all they could to recapture the fortress. He and other generals estimated that the French would do all they could to recapture the area. The Germans expected that the French would send all their strategic reserves to the battle.
The Germans believed that once they had captured Verdun, they could fortify it and establish a strong strategic position. They then wanted to adopt a defensive posture and they would allow the French to destroy their army on repeated assaults in fruitless attempts to recapture Verdun.<ref> Philpott, W. <i>Attrition: Fighting the First World War</i>. London: Little, Brown, 2014, p. 201</ref> The Germans in their secure defensive positions would out-kill the French. In particular, they Germans believed that their superior artillery would allow them to inflict devastating casualties on the French and this would ultimately either lead them to collapse or to see a negotiated peace. The strategy of Von Falkenhayn was a simple and brutal one- he wanted to turn Verdun into a killing ground in order to gain a decisive advantage over the French.<ref> Philpott, p. 234</ref> Verdun was identified as a potential target by the Germans because of geography and its strategic importance. The Verdun region was a salient in the western front and the Germans had surrounded it on three sides. In order to protect it, the French had devoted many soldiers and resources to the area. They had established a series of defensive lines at Verdun and this became known as the Fortified Region of Verdun (RFV). <ref>Phillpott, p. 234</ref>. Within this region there were a series of forts, these were massive structures made of concrete and much of them lay underground. The Verdun forts had a network of concrete shelters, reinforced observation posts, batteries, concrete trenches, command posts and underground stunnels that connected the forts. The primary objective of the German offensive was these forts, especially Fort Douamount and the Fortress of Verdun. This fortress became the symbol of the battle for the French.