19. Nothing was gained by either side in the nearly year-long battle
The Battle of Verdun raged for 303 days, and ended with the two sides where they had been when it started. Neither side gained any territorial advantage. The French had defended the historically important position, despite having planned to detonate both forts Douaumont and Vaux before the battle began. Both went through the battle with detonation charges installed, but not fully wired, while the battle raged around and within them. The Germans had intended to cripple the French Army through attrition, instead, they suffered nearly as many casualties within their own army, and it was a blow to German morale.
The battle had been one of the first in history to rely on the support of fighter aircraft, and Petain had early on in the fighting demanded air support. When the battle began German aircraft dominated the skies over the battlefield, but the French overcame them by having their flyers operate in squadrons, known as Escadrilles, and forever changed air war tactics. The Germans were forced to operate in squadrons as well. Both sides developed improved anti-aircraft fire and tactics over the course of the battle, and both sides’ pilots developed the techniques of shooting down their opponent’s observation balloons.