Samarkand features a Mediterranean climate (Kppen climate classification Csa) that closely borders on a semi-arid climate with hot, dry summers and relatively wet, variable winters that alternate periods of warm weather with periods of cold weather. July and August are the hottest months of the year with temperatures reaching, and exceeding, 40 C (104 F). Most of the sparse precipitation is received from December through April. January 2008 was particularly cold, and the temperature dropped to 22 C (8 F)
Santiago (The Vampire Chronicles), a character in Anne Rice's novel Interview with the Vampire
Santiago, a character in Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel Garca Mrquez
Santiago, the title character of Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea
Santiago, a character from Santiago: a Myth of the Far Future
Santiago, the main character of Paulo Coelho's The Alchemist (novel)
Santiago, a character on Friday Night Lights
Santiago, a character in The Cluefinders
Amy Santiago, in the American television series, Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Hale Santiago, in the Canadian television series, Lost Girl
Unternehmen Gericht (Operation Judgement) was due to begin on 12 February but fog, heavy rain and high winds delayed the offensive until 7:15 a.m. on 21 February, when a 10-hour artillery bombardment by 808 guns began. The German artillery fired c.1,000,000 shells along a front about 30 km (19 mi) long by 5 km (3.1 mi) wide. The main concentration of fire was on the right (east) bank of the Meuse river. Twenty-six super-heavy, long-range guns, up to 420 mm (16.5 in), fired on the forts and the city of Verdun; a rumble could be heard 160 km (99 mi) away. The bombardment was paused at midday, as a ruse to prompt French survivors to reveal themselves and German artillery-observation aircraft were able to fly over the battlefield unmolested by French aircraft. The 3rd, 7th and 18th corps attacked at 4:00 p.m.; the Germans used flamethrowers for the first time and storm troops followed closely with rifles slung, to use hand grenades to kill the remaining defenders. This tactic had been developed by Captain Willy Rohr and Sturm-Bataillon Nr. 5 (Rohr), which battalion conducted the attack. French survivors engaged the attackers, yet the Germans suffered only c.600 casualties.
By 22 February, German troops had advanced 5 km (3.1 mi) and captured Bois des Caures, at the edge of the village of Flabas. Two French battalions led by Colonel mile Driant had held the bois (wood) for two days but were forced back to Samogneux, Beaumont and Ornes. Driant was killed, fighting with the 56th and 59th Bataillons de chasseurs pied and only 118 of the Chasseurs managed to escape. Poor communications meant that only then did the French High Command realise the seriousness of the attack. The Germans managed to take the village of Haumont but French forces repulsed a German attack on the village of Bois de l'Herbebois. On 23 February, a French counter-attack at Bois des Caures was repulsed. Fighting for Bois de l'Herbebois continued until the Germans outflanked the French defenders from Bois de Wavrille. The German attackers had many casualties during their attack on Bois de Fosses and the French held on to Samogneux. German attacks continued on 24 February and the French XXX Corps was forced out of the second line of defence; XX Corps (General Maurice Balfourier) arrived at the last minute and was rushed forward. That evening Castelnau advised Joffre that the Second Army, under General Ptain, should be sent to the RFV. The Germans had captured Beaumont, Bois des Fosses and Bois des Caurires and were moving up ravin Hassoule which led to Fort Douaumont.
At 3:00 p.m. on 25 February, infantry of Brandenburg Regiment 24 advanced with the II and III battalions side-by-side, each formed into two waves composed of two companies each. A delay in the arrival of orders to the regiments on the flanks, led to the III Battalion advancing without support on that flank. The Germans rushed French positions in the woods and on Cte 347, with the support of machine-gun fire from the edge of Bois Hermitage. The German infantry took many prisoners as the French on Cte 347 were outflanked and withdrew to Douaumont village. The German infantry had reached their objectives in fewer than twenty minutes and pursued the French, until fired on by a machine-gun in Douaumont church. Some German troops took cover in woods and a ravine which led to the fort, when German artillery began to bombard the area, the gunners having refused to believe claims sent by field telephone that the German infantry were within a few hundred metres of the fort. Several German parties were forced to advance to find cover from the German shelling and two parties independently made for the fort. They did not know that the French garrison was made up of only a small maintenance crew led by a warrant officer, since most of the Verdun forts had been partly disarmed, after the demolition of Belgian forts in 1914, by the German super-heavy Krupp 420 mm mortars.
The German party of c.100 soldiers tried to signal to the artillery with flares but twilight and falling snow obscured them from view. Some of the party began to cut through the wire around the fort, while French machine-gun fire from Douaumont village ceased. The French had seen the German flares and took the Germans on the fort to be Zouaves retreating from Cte 378. The Germans were able to reach the north-east end of the fort before the French resumed firing. The German party found a way through the railings on top of the ditch and climbed down without being fired on, since the machine-gun bunkers (coffres de contrescarpe) at each corner of the ditch had been left unmanned. The German parties continued and found a way inside the fort through one of the unoccupied ditch bunkers and then reached the central Rue de Rempart. After quietly moving inside, the Germans heard voices and persuaded a French prisoner, captured in an observation post, to lead them to the lower floor, where they found Warrant Officer Chenot and about 25 French troops, most of the skeleton garrison of the fort, and took them prisoner. On 26 February, the Germans had advanced 3 km (1.9 mi) on a 10 km (6.2 mi) front; French losses were 24,000 men and German losses were c.25,000 men. A French counter-attack on Fort Douaumont failed and Ptain ordered that no more attempts were to be made; existing lines were to be consolidated and other forts were to be occupied, rearmed and supplied to withstand a siege if surrounded.