The Petit Ballon was right on the Western Front of Word War I, and you can still find many traces of those days. This is the Grotte des Poilus near the Col de la Chapelotte, still in the Vosges Mountains, but quite a bit north of the Petit Ballon. In here the French tended their wounded during the German offensive of 1915. This site was one of the first in which the Germans deployed flamethrowers to clear (...) the French trenches. Whenever I'm in the Vosges Mountains, I visit one or two remnants of the front line; all immensely depressing of course, but still better than forgetting the sacrifices made back then for the peace we enjoy today.
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