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Found 7 results

  1. Visited recently on my first foray over to the European side of life (can't believe it has taken so long). It was excellent / cold in the snow! History: On May 9, 1899, Kaiser Wilhelm II laid the first stone of Fort St. Blaise. Group Fortification Verdun group is built on top of two hills, it consists of two forts, the fort Sommy 30 ha in the south, and Fort Saint-Blaise 45 ha on the north. Group Fortification Verdun has four 150mm howitzers and six short 100mm guns. Fort St. Blaise was planned for 500 men and fort Sommy for 200 men. It could then receive two infantry companies, in addition to the gunners. St. Blaise, whose fortified barracks could receive 500 people, has 10 observation domes and 12 lookout posts.[4] The water tank's capacity was 1,300 m. 4 diesel engines of 25HP each, providing the energy necessary for Fort St. Blaise. The fort Sommy, including the fortified barracks, could accommodate 200 people, and has 6 observation domes and 8 lookouts. Its water tank could hold 600 m and it had 3 diesel engines of 20HP each, to provide the energy needed for its operation.[4] The coat of arms of Count of Haeseler is carved on the pediment of the door of the fort. It caused the Americans a huge headache in WW2 and proved its worth as a fortified location. Patton underestimated their strength immensely. Fort St. Blaise: The first of the two forts, complete with short 100mm funs in place showing battle damage. Untitled by Nick, on Flickr Untitled by Nick, on Flickr Untitled by Nick, on Flickr Untitled by Nick, on Flickr Untitled by Nick, on Flickr Untitled by Nick, on Flickr Untitled by Nick, on Flickr Collapsed structure / battle damage Untitled by Nick, on Flickr Untitled by Nick, on Flickr Untitled by Nick, on Flickr Untitled by Nick, on Flickr The thing you don't realise until you get there is that the French Army have not removed any of the barbed wire entanglements, complete with foot spikes and in some places, unexploded ordnance Untitled by Nick, on Flickr Fort Sommy: The smaller outer fort, with a machine gun cupola and two turrets with guns and a tonne more battle damage, with craters and wall collapses all over the shop! Untitled by Nick, on Flickr Untitled by Nick, on Flickr Untitled by Nick, on Flickr Untitled by Nick, on Flickr Untitled by Nick, on Flickr
  2. Fort Jeanne d'Arc, also called Fortified Group Jeanne d'Arc, is a fortification located to the west of Metz in the Moselle department of France. It was built by Germany to the west of the town of Rozérieulles in the early 20th century as part of the third and final group of Metz fortifications. The fortification program was started after the German victory of the Franco-Prussian War, which resulted in the annexation of the provinces of Alsace and Lorraine from Germany to France. The Fort Jeanne d'Arc was part of the Moselstellung, a group of eleven fortresses surrounding Thionville and Metz to guard against the possibility of a French attack aimed at regaining Alsace and Lorraine, with construction taking place between 1899 and 1908. The fortification system incorporated new principles of defensive construction to deal with advances in artillery. Later forts, such as Jeanne d'Arc, embodied innovative design concepts such as dispersal and concealment. These later forts were designed to support offensive operations, as an anchor for a pivoting move by German forces into France. The Feste Kaiserin, as Fort Jeanne d'Arc was called by the Germans, with seven other Metz forts, assured the protection of Metz against French attack. It is one of the largest of the Metz forts. Positioned to the rear of the principal lines of combat in the First World War, the fort never saw combat in that war, but was captured by advancing American forces in the Lorraine Campaign of World War II after resisting for nearly a month. Fort Jeanne d'Arc was designed for a garrison of 1900 men and armed with six 100mm guns in two batteries, six 150mm howitzers in two batteries and four 77mm guns in casemates. Four separate fortified barracks housed troops, with underground galleries connecting the battery, barracks, and infantry positions. In addition, four bastion-like points on the north, south, east and west housed infantry strongpoints. Barbed wire entanglements were swept by 77mm guns firing from bastions or counterscarp positions. The east and west strongpoints were separately enclosed with barbed wire entanglements and had their own barracks, while the west point additionally had an earthwork rampart with a caponier. A total of seven reinforced barracks had a capacity of 2580 troops. The fortified barracks were built into a hillside so that their rears are shielded by earth, while the tops and fronts are protected by three or four metres of concrete, and are surmounted by parapets. The batteries are similarly constructed and linked to the barracks by underground tunnels at an average depth of 8 metres (26 ft) to 11 metres (36 ft) metres, extending over 2,350 metres (7,710 ft). The whole was surrounded by deep networks of barbed wire, which were swept by fire from small perimeter blockhouses, also linked via the tunnel system. The interior of the position was equipped with trenches for infantry. The barracks and batteries were further armoured with reinforced concrete and armored windows. A variety of blockhouses and infantry shelters were also built in the intervals between forts. The fort's surface extends over 121 hectares (300 acres). The dispersed, un-walled nature of the later Moselstellung was a significant innovation. Compared to the French Séré de Rivières system forts of the same era, German fortifications were scattered over a large area and enclosed chiefly by barbed wire. While certain individual elements presented imposing walls to an attacker, these walls were not continuous. The dispersed nature is evidenced by the official French name: the Groupe Fortifié Jeanne d'Arc (Fortified Group of Jeanne d'Arc). These arrangements were studied and improved upon by the French in the construction of the Maginot Line. Begun in 1899, Jeanne d'Arc was completed in 1908 and saw no action during World War I, as Metz remained well within German lines for the duration of the war. The fort was initially named Feste Point du Jour, but was renamed Feste Kaiserin on 12 May 1900. The fort was reinforced with concrete over the original stonework between 1912 and 1914. Some of the original yellow stone remains visible on the face of the barracks, ornamented with elaborate reliefs. With the Armistice of 1918, Lorraine was returned to France and the fort became French property. The Metz fortifications contributed some of their long 100mm guns to replace the short 100mm guns at Thionville when France upgraded the Thionville sector to back up the Maginot Line fortifications in the area. Fort Jeanne d'Arc was the headquarters for the French 3rd Army in 1940. During the Battle of France the Metz area was bypassed and encircled by German forces, with the Maginot and earlier fortifications seeing little action before the Armistice of 1940. In September 1944, the U.S. 5th and 90th Infantry Divisions of the U.S. Third Army, approached Metz from the west. They encountered the western arc of Metz defenses, including Fort Jeanne d'Arc and its neighbors Fort Driant to the south and Fort François de Guise to the north. The defenses of Metz were manned by the 462nd Volksgrenadier Division, attached to the German First Army, Army Group G. A total of about 9,000 to 10,000 combat-ready troops occupied Metz. The combined fire of the forts stopped the American advance once initial contact had been made. An attack on Fort Driant beginning on 27 September was finally called off on 9 October after heavy U.S. casualties. After this check, a more patient strategy of encirclement and investment was pursued. achieving success with the capture of the Fort de Koenigsmacker at Thionville on 12 November. In mid-November a renewed attack was launched by XII and XX Corps to envelop and eventually bypass Metz. The U.S. 95th Infantry Division was stationed immediately to the west of Metz, in the vicinity of Fort Jeanne d'Arc, and maintained contact while the 5th Infantry and other U.S. formations moved to the north and south. An assault was opened by the 95th Infantry on 14 November, concentrating on the interval between Fort Jeanne d'Arc and Fort François de Guise, which was occupied by a chain of smaller fortifications known as the "Seven Dwarves." American forces were able to penetrate to the Moselle by 18 November, leaving a force behind to contain the forts. In the meantime, the surviving remnants of the 462nd Volksgrenadier consolidated a defense at Fort Jeanne d'Arc. At the end of November, three forts were holding out and surrounded by the U.S. 2nd Infantry Division. The Metz forts were gradually reduced through December. Fort Jeanne d'Arc was the last to surrender on 13 December 1944, capitulating to the U.S. III Corps. Following the war, Fort Jeanne d'Arc was selected to become a NATO control center for air defense operations, manned by American, Canadian and French personnel. The site was designated the Moselle Common Area Control (MCAC), and provided air traffic control for a portion of Northeastern France and adjoining areas of Luxembourg and West Germany, along with approach control for four USAF bases as well as a flight plan service for RCAF Station Grostenquin. The facility occupied casernes 3 and 4, with the interior of Caserne 4 renovated to provide a two-level operations room. Work was largely financed by Canada, with a French contribution of 73 million francs. After France's withdrawal from the NATO integrated command structure in 1967, the center was operated solely by the French, finally abandoned in the late 1990s. Visited with @The_Raw , @extreme_ironing & @Maniac . 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14
  3. Had last week off work and conveniently so did Raz, so obviously went went on a derp hunt. On this occasion our travels (and my pug) took us to Bradford for what i would describe as a series of catastrophic fail, so on our way back we decided to go the back way in the hope we might stuble across some kind of spectacular building to save the day. What we found was by no means spectacular but it was so clean and tidy that it more than made up for what it lacked. Little bit of history courtesy of Raz cause im lazy and google got me the exact same info. Parkam Chilled Foods are manufacturers of quality cooked meat, sandwich and sandwich filler products for the retail, wholesale and foodservice sectors. The group is made up of five companies, each with their own specialities. Together Parkam Chilled Foods provide the complete cooked meats solution manufacturing a vast range of products from a variety of species. The explore; So after a dodgey Bear Grylls like entrance into the grounds of the factory we proceeded to scope out the place and at first it appeared to be locked tighter than a nuns f****, however, perseverance paid off and we found our entry. It would appear that whomever owns the building really doesnt give a toss about it as they have a rather sophisticated sensor alarm system which is turned off. We found this out after a few heart stopping moments everytime we passed one. Few buildings we never made it into as we didnt want to out stay our welcome so quick get on and get in Heres a few more; As always thanks for looking
  4. In this age of hypercoated glass, super-ultrawides and space age image editing, the merits and intrinsical beauty of oldskool analog photography is often easily overlooked. Hence my new little facebook group: The Analog Urbex. https://www.facebook.com/groups/AnalogUrbex/ 100% Analog pictures of explorations and urbex related adventures. With 3 exceptions: - You can of course digitally scan your image, or photograph it digitally, as long as the base material is film. When in serious doubt, users might be asked for a discernable pic of their negative. Editing is allowed - Digital pictures of the gear you took your analog pictures with are acceptable - Relevant comparisons stemming from deep philosophical discussions on the analog vs.digital subject, we can't say no to that can we!? The group is off to quite a slow start, due to the fact that I can't actually seem to find more than a handful of people that still do the analog thing. I just turned down the analog path myself with a Pentax ME that was obviously destined for exploration (In the sense that I found this beauty 'abandoned' at a recycling yard, in full working order, with a 135 Takumar lens as a bonus. The stuff people throw away these days!) If you can't become a member on the group page itself (it's a closed group) drop me a message! Come show off your analog works of art over at the The Analog Urbex! And don't forget to join the cover photo contest! (To ye mods, If you wish I'll link a group post back to oblivionstate.com as soon as we get some activity going!)
  5. Howdo folks, Newcastle based Urban Explorer/Photographer here and while I've been a fan and member of the Facebook group for some time... I've only just realised there's a forum here too... so d'oh! I'm guessing this is similar to the 28DL forum for reports, advice and discussion yeah? Look forward to seeing other people's work and sharing my reports, trips and photographs with you all. Included a few shots from my portfolio for y'all to check out my kinda stuff
  6. This site is in amazing condition and although this was a tour, the lady showing us around was more than happy for us to take some time to take photos. Most of the smaller items have been removed to a ROC museum, alot of the larger items such as generators remain. The generators apparently still work. After reading other posts on ROC Posts and seeing one for myself not too long ago it was amazing to see where theses posts reported back to. One of the guides was also an ex BT engineer who worked at the HQ. This particular site was capable of housing up to 70 people, with enough stores for them to stay in the bunker for one month Extract from Sub Brit - EXTANT 57 London Road was originally in civilian occupation and named `Fairlawns'. The property was requisitioned in 1939 as a new headquarters for No.1 Group of the Royal Observer Corps, who had previously been stationed in rooms above Maidstone Post Office. An operations room was built in the house using the ground floor and basement. Fairlawns was in use throughout the war until stand down. In the 1950s Fairlawns was relegated to being a training centre for the group control at Beckenham (19 Group). In 1961 a new semi-sunk control was built to the rear of Fairlawns with administration located in the house. Beckenham was then relegated to being training centre for 1 Group at Maidstone. The former 19 Group HQ at Dura Den, Park Place, Beckenham was absorbed into No. 1 Group in 1953 but was retained for as a secondary training centre until 1968 In 1976 Fairlawns was renamed Ashmore House in memory of the Corps' founder Major Ashmore. On closure Ashmore House and the bunker behind was sold to a local solicitors. Maidstone 1 One of the latches on the main door Thanks for the warning Looking down to the second level Door to the plant room Smoke/Air Scrubber BT equipment room Looking back from the BT equipment room back to the plant room
  7. On our way up to a rally on the Epynt Ranges (yeah, the one with the Toyota Sunbeam crash - we saw it happen and actually helped the driver (Darren Pool) out of the car), Hood_mad spotted this ROC post up on a small rise on the outskirts of Sennybridge. We parked the evo up and wandered over to take a look. It was quite trashed, the lid looks secure (but isn't) and there was a bit of water on the floor. This time, it was just Hood_mad and myself. Subbrit report HERE View from afar. (1) (2) FSM shaft & ventilation (3) Down the hatch. (4) Inside. (5) (6) Not much there, but another one ticked off the list.
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