Rather than read my reflections on France Nord Pas-de-Calais, your time would be better spent reading Barbara Tuchman's The Guns of August, her Pulitzer Prize winning account of the first month of WW I. I particularly enjoy her sarcasm. Evidently the politicians of that period were no less uninformed, reckless, and venal than our current president.
The results of their "leadership" were horrendous.
The Great War began August 3, 1914. By the end August the war was basically at a stalemate. The lines wavered back and forth, often by mere meters. The dying, however, continued for 4 long years. Over 1,000,000 soldiers died in just 5 months at the Somme.
Not that Arras and Amiens haven't been pleasant. But they were near the center of the trenches that stretched from Alsace to the Channel. So there are reminders everywhere.
Hey, travel isn't just about chocolates and cathedrals.