Flanked to the west by the Aisne valley and to the east by the Aire valley, the Argonne region takes the form of a vast rectangle 40km long and 15km wide. The region’s subsoil is composed exclusively of ‘gaize’ (a form of siliceous rock), giving naturally poor soil in which only the forest can thrive, on rolling hills ranging from 170 to 280 metres above sea level. In the early stages of the Great War (October-November 1914) the front cut right through this forest, forming a line running east to west. 

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