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Found 6 results

  1. Another visit from October with @Andy, @Maniacand@extreme_ironing. From seeing Andy's report I missed quite a few bits but you can't see everything unless you spend the whole day down there. Another epic bit of WW2 history and there's lots more out there. Ouvrage Mont des Welches, a gros ouvrage of the Maginot Line fortifications, is part of the Fortified Sector of Boulay. It comprises two entrance blocks, one infantry block, one artillery block, one observation block and two combination blocks. The underground gallery system is compact, about 200 metres (660 ft) from end to end, and unlike larger ouvrages where the gallery system is linear in concept, the central portion of Mont des Welches is a dense network of tunnels crossing one another, housing the barracks and utility areas. The galleries are excavated at an average depth of up to 30 metres (98 ft). Unlike most gros ouvrages, its 60 cm internal rail network was not electrified, relying on human power to move the rail cars. Relatively small for a gros ouvrage, Mont des Welches saw a brief period of sharp action in June 1940, when German forces moving along the rear of the Maginot Line engaged the position without success. The manning of the ouvrage in June 1940 comprised 490 men and 17 officers of the 167th Fortress Infantry Regiment and the 151st Position Artillery Regiment. After modest renovations in the 1950s, it was abandoned in the 1970s. Bon journée
  2. Ouvrage Mont des Welches, a gros ouvrage of the Maginot Line fortifications, is part of the Fortified Sector of Boulay. It comprises two entrance blocks, one infantry block, one artillery block, one observation block and two combination blocks. It is located between petit ouvrage Coucou and gros ouvrage Michelsberg, facing Germany. Relatively small for a gros ouvrage, Mont des Welches saw a brief period of sharp action in June 1940, when German forces moving along the rear of the Maginot Line engaged the position without success. After modest renovations in the 1950s, Mont des Welches was abandoned in the 1970s. Mont des Welches was approved for construction by CORF (Commission d'Organisation des Régions Fortifiées), the Maginot Line's design and construction agency, in June 1930 and became operational by 1935, at a cost of 49 million francs. The contractor was Gianotti of Nice. The comparatively small gros ouvrage comprises two entrance blocks, one infantry block, one artillery block, one observation block, and two combination blocks. It lacks a central "M1" ammunition magazine, and unlike most gros ouvrages, its 60 cm internal rail network was not electrified, relying on human power to move the rail cars. The underground gallery system is compact, about 200 metres (660 ft) from end to end, and unlike larger ouvrages where the gallery system is linear in concept, the central portion of Mont des Welches is a dense network of cross galleries between to main galleries, housing the barracks and utility areas. The galleries are excavated at an average depth of up to 30 metres (98 ft). The manning of the ouvrage in June 1940 comprised 490 men and 17 officers of the 167th Fortress Infantry Regiment and the 151st Position Artillery Regiment, commanded by Chef de Bataillon Tari. The units were under the umbrella of the 42nd Fortress Corps of the 3rd Army, Army Group 2. Visited with @The_Raw, @extreme_ironing & @Maniac. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
  3. Ouvrage Hobling is a lesser work (petit ouvrage) of the Maginot Line. Located in the Fortified Sector of Boulay, the ouvrage consists of two infantry blocks and two observation blocks, and is located between gros ouvrage Michelsberg and petit ouvrage Bousse, facing Germany. Hobling was approved for construction by CORF (Commission d'Organisation des Régions Fortifiées), the Maginot Line's design and construction agency, in 1931 and became operational by 1935, at a cost of 14 million francs. Hobling played no significant role in either the Battle of France in 1940 or the Lorraine Campaign of 1944. After the Second World War it became part of the Mòle de Boulay, a strongpoint in the northeastern defenses against Soviet attack. It remained under Army control until 1971, after which it was declassified and sold in 1975. It has been stripped of metals and left abandoned. I've been to a fair few of these now. It's often a wild goose chase looking for the entrance in the middle of the forest but that's part of the fun. I think this was the only success we had out of 5 attempts that day so it was nice to get something done. There's hardly any pictures online so we weren't sure what to expect. It turned out to be in fairly good condition, no graffiti, the kitchen still intact, and a few other bits worth seeing. As with all of these bunkers it's an important piece of WWII history which is why I find them so fascinating no matter how little or how much is left. Visited with @Andy, afterwards I took him for a romantic meal Not a good time to lose your footing.... [ One of the gun turrets Thanks for looking
  4. The infantry base Wolfsberg is a small part of the bigger fortress Kellermann, part of the "Group Fortification Lorraine". It was built in 1904 - 1906. Visited with @The_Raw, @extreme_ironing & @Maniac. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
  5. Ouvrage A28 is a smaller plant (petit ouvrage) of the Maginot Line. The site was surveyed by CORF (Commission d'Organisation des Régions Fortifiées), the Maginot Line's design and construction agency; A28 was approved for construction in May 1931. It was completed at a cost of 11 million francs by the contractor Duval-Weyrich of Nancy. The petit ouvrage was planned for construction in two phases. The second phase was to provide a separate entrance block a short distance to the rear. Heavy water infiltration required the provision of more extensive drainage work than originally planned. The galleries are excavated at an average depth of up to 30 meters (98 ft). The 1940 manning of the ouvrage under the command of Captain Coste comprised 127 men and 2 officers of the 161st Fortress Infantry Regiment. A28 played no significant role in either the Battle of France in 1940 or the Lorraine Campaign of 1944. After the Second World War it became part of a strongpoint in the northeastern defenses against Soviet attack. A28 remained under Army control until after 1971, when it was declassified and sold. Visited with The_Raw. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
  6. History Ouvrage Latiremont is a gros ouvrage (large work) of the Maginot Line – a line of concrete fortifications, obstacles and weapon installations built by France in the 1930s to deter invasion by Germany. The site of Ouvrage Latiremont was selected and approved by the Commission d’Organisation des Régions Fortifiées (CORF) in 1931. It cost eighty-eight million francs (approximately twelve million in pound sterling) to construct the fortification. The design of Ouvrage Latiremont is known as a casemate fortress – a fortified or armoured structure, also referred to as a vaulted chamber, from which guns are fired. Once completed, 75mm and 81mm guns were installed and a second phase was planned, to add additional 75mm and 135mm gun turret blocks. However, the second phase of the development never went ahead as the funding was allocated elsewhere. Latiremont has two main entrances and six combat blocks (three infantry blocks and three artillery). It also comprises more than five kilometres of underground tunnels and galleries; these are at an average depth of thirty metres. A small narrow-gauge railway system, which was connected to a regional military railway system, once linked all six sections of the fortress and it was used to transport supplies, such as equipment, food and ammunition. There were said to be several stations inside Latiremont which were large enough to service and store large trains. Once fully operational, Latiremont was placed under the command of Commandant Pophillat. Pophillat had twenty-one officers and five-hundred and eighty men of the 149th Fortress Infantry Regiment at his disposal. Following the 1939 invasion of Poland, Britain and France declared war on Germany. Thereafter, between the September 1939 and June 1940, Latiremont fired over 14,4 52 75mm rounds and 4,234 81mm rounds at German forces. The fortress, though, was not directly attacked until June 1940. On the 21st June 1940, the German 161st Division led by Colonel Gerhard Wilck, which brought 210mm howitzers and 305mm siege mortars with them, launched their attack against Latiremont. While the attack was underway, a small number of German units moved to the rear of the Maginot Line where they were able to cut power and communications. Despite heavy resistant from Latiremont and nearby fortress Fermont, firing ceased on 25th June and both garrisons surrendered to the German forces on 27th June. For the remainder of the war, the area was used for a German propaganda film, to document the June 1940 attacks, but it did not see any further significant fighting. In 1951 the French government attempted to restore many of the northeastern ouvrages, to defend against a potential advance by the Warsaw Pact. However, following the establishment of the French Nuclear Strike Force, the importance of the Maginot Line diminished. Latiremont was subsequently abandoned by the military in 1967. Today, the fortress remains abandoned and has suffered heavily from water ingress. Our Version of Events Aside from drinking beer, this explore was our reason for being on the other side of the English Channel. We weren’t certain at all if the place would be doable, but after reading about it we decided it was probably worth the risk. Nonetheless, towards the end of our trip there was a sudden drop in team morale. This resulted in us taking a vote in an Aldi car park, over French bread and Biscoff, on whether or not we should crack on and drive for three more hours to reach Latiremont, or turn tail and check out a few old manors as we headed back to the ferry terminus. With the votes all in and tucked nicely into a hat, we made a short ceremony out of revealing the results. In the end, the remainers won, four to two, so there would be no leaving Europe just yet. We finished off our Biscoff and spent our remaining Euros on food in Aldi before we set off for Latiremont. Our combined wealth got us a couple of tins of beans, a box of mushrooms and some spices to sprinkle on top. Someone did offer to buy our car in the car park after we got the supplies in, but we had to insist we really needed it to get home to England. The potential buyer still didn’t seem to see that as a problem though. It was quite a mission to shake him. The drive over to the border of Luxembourg was very pleasant. We played some banging tunes and arrived at the location with plenty of time to spare. At first, we had anticipated that finding the fortress in the forest would be quite a challenge, but as it turned out we stumbled across it within ten minutes of being there. Gaining access to the gros ouvrage was a little more tricky of course – it is a military fortress after all! Once inside, we found ourselves in a standard-looking bunker. There were signs and evidence that guns had been positioned in here, and at first we thought that was that. Most bunkers we’ve entered have been fairly compact and bare, and you can usually get through all the rooms very quickly. Our minds were blown, then, when we discovered a lift shaft and, after peering down to see how high it was, realised we couldn’t see the bottom. Obviously extremely excited at the point, at the prospect the place was going to be absolutely huge, we began to make our way down a staircase next to the lift shaft. We made our way down the steps, which went on for a long, long time, until we reached the bottom where we found ourselves in a cold tunnel surrounded by enormous blast doors. It was at this point we realised we’d underestimated how big this place really is. For the next few hours, then, we made our way through different snaking tunnels, and explored many side rooms and chambers leading off from them. One of the best parts of the explore that we came across was some sort of old gun turret. There were plenty of others things to see as well though. This place was certainly a bit of a time capsule. The only problem, however, was that we started to lose track of where we were inside the fortress. It’s very easy to get lost in the labyrinth-like corridors and rooms and we’d eaten all the bread earlier in the day, so making a breadcrumb trail had been out of the question. Eventually, we felt as though we were well and truly lost so decided it was time to find a way back to the surface. It took a little while, and a few false turns, before we found a tunnel that sort of looked familiar. We followed it and, thankfully, ended up back where we started. All in all, then, this explore was absolutely fantastic – certainly one of the best military fortifications we’ve ever explored. It’s also steeped in interesting history about the war. Anyone who happens to find themselves near Luxembourg should definitely pay this place a visit. You never know your luck after all, you might find a way inside like we did. Explored with Ford Mayhem, MKD, Rizla Rider, The Hurricane and Husky. 1: 2: 3: 4: 5: 6: 7: 8: 9: 10: 11: 12: 13: 14: 15: 16: 17: 18: 19: 20: 21: 22: 23: 24: 25: 26: 27: 28: 29: 30: 31: 32: 33: 34: 35: 36: 37: 38: 39: 40: 41: 42: 43: 44: 45: 46:
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