|"Ils ne passeront pas"|
|Collected||Counting Up, Counting Down|
"Ils ne passeront pas" is a short story by Harry Turtledove, published in Armageddon, edited by David Drake & Billie Sue Mosiman, Baen 1998; and republished in Counting Up, Counting Down, Del Rey, 2002.
The story begins as a conventional historical piece set at the Battle of Verdun. However, the story takes a fantastic twist as the seven trumpets prophesied in the Book of Revelation sound, and the events foretold begin to take place there on the battlefield. But, both sides have become so numbed to the horror of war, that neither quite realizes the events they are witnessing.
The title of the story translates into English as "They shall not pass," the French rallying cry at Verdun. The theme of the story is articulated by the main protagonist, French soldier Pierre Barres: "what even from the last days could be worse than that which soldiers endured" at Verdun?