- Associated Press - Monday, May 9, 2016

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - A new exhibit at the National World War I Museum and Memorial focuses on two pivotal battles and features more graphic material than other temporary displays mounted by the facility.

The centennial exhibit, “They Shall Not Pass 1916,” covers the Battle of the Somme and the Battle of Verdun, The Kansas City Star (http://bit.ly/1WVPLKW ) reported.

Only three of the 150 or so items on display in the exhibit have ever been publicly displayed before. Many of the objects are recent acquisitions, but they’re all a part of the museum’s own collection.

Some of the items include a French mortar shell, British helmet with a bullet hole on the top, a German coil of barbed wire and an imperial Russian pilot’s leather coat. There’s also a group of items related to Canadian Expeditionary Force officer Ray Penniman, who went disappeared without a trace during the Battle of the Somme, including the last letter he wrote home and a telegram saying he was missing.

Photos throughout the exhibit show terrain cratered by explosives and dead soldiers.

The Battle of Somme was one of the longest and bloodiest campaigns of World War I. By the end of campaign, the British had tallied about 420,000 casualties, the French about 200,000 and the Germans about 500,000.

During the simultaneous Battle of Verdun, both the French and German forces had about 377,000 casualties.

“They Shall Not Pass 1916” opened Friday at the museum in Kansas City, Missouri, and runs until next March.

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Information from: The Kansas City Star, http://www.kcstar.com

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