Vintage Video - Crown Prince Wilhelm, 1914

Heir to Kaiser Wilhelm II, Crown Prince Wilhelm played a prominent role as a military commander during the First World War.

Achieving initial success in the Ardennes at the start of the war, the Crown Prince achieved his greatest fame - and, to many, notoriety - during the German Verdun Offensive, the greatest offensive of the war.

The Crown Prince was given responsibility by the German Army Chief of Staff von Falkenhayn for ensuring German victory at Verdun (where France was to be "bled white" in Falkenhayn's words).

The offensive began in February 1916 and lasted until September 1916 when it was finally abandoned by incoming Chief of Staff Paul von Hindenburg.  The Crown Prince was subsequently the subject of much criticism for the perceived failure of the offensive, and was routinely labelled "the butcher of Verdun" by the Allies, a charge he vehemently denied.

Use the player above to view footage of the Crown Prince filmed in 1914.

Stormtroopers comprised specially trained German assault troops used in 1918.

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