Jump to content
Andy

France Gros Ouvrage Brehain, Maginot Line (visited 05/2017)

Recommended Posts

Ouvrage Bréhain is part of the Fortified Sector of the Crusnes of the Maginot Line. The gros ouvrage was equipped with long-range artillery, and faced the border with Luxembourg. It saw no major action in either the Battle of France in 1940 or the Lorraine Campaign of 1944.

Bréhain was approved for construction in May 1931. It was completed at a cost of 84 million francs by the contractor Ballot of Paris. Compared with its neighbors, the ultimate plans for Aumetz, Bréhain, Bois-du-Four and Ouvrage Mauvais-Bois closely resemble each other, but Bréhain is the most fully realized, with only one unbuilt combat block and an unconnected casemate block. Its neighbors were built as petits ouvrages, to be developed with full tunnel networks at a later date.

 

Bréhain is a large ouvrage with a gallery system extending over 1,500 metres (4,900 ft) from end to end. The munitions and personnel entries are located far to the rear of the compactly arranged combat blocks, with the entries hidden in the woods. An "M1" ammunition magazine is located just inside the ammunition entry, while the underground barracks are located near the junction of the two entry galleries. From there a long, straight gallery runs at an average depth of 30 metres (98 ft) to eight combat blocks. As part of an uncommenced second phase, Bréhain was to receive a second 135mm turret. A gallery was projected to link the turret block to the Casemate de l'Ouest de Bréhain, which was built as (and remained) an unconnected infantry combat block.

The ouvrage has two entries and eight combat blocks.

 

The 1940 manning of the ouvrage under the command of Commandant Vanier comprised 615 men and 22 officers of the 128th Fortress Infantry Regiment and the 152nd Position Artillery Regiment. The units were under the umbrella of the 42nd Fortress Corps of the 3rd Army, Army Group 2.

 

On 21 June 1940 Brehain engaged advancing German troops, but saw no serious action Bréhain's chief efforts went to the support of neighboring fortifications, with 20,250 75mm, 1,780 81mm and 2,220 135mm shells fired between September 1939 and June 1940. 4200 shots were fired in support of actions at Esch 10–14 May 1940, and 10,145 shots of all kinds were fired 13–25 June 1940. The 22 June 1940 armistice brought an end to fighting. However, the Maginot fortifications to the west of the Moselle did not surrender immediately, maintaining their garrisons through a series of negotiations. Bréhain, along with Mauvais-Bois, Bois-du-Four and Aumetz surrendered on 27 June.

In 1951 Bréhain was renovated for use against a potential invasion by Warsaw Pact forces, becoming part of the môle de Rochonvillers strongpoint in company with Rochonvillers, Molvange and later Immerhof. After the establishment of the French nuclear strike force, the importance of the Line declined, and most locations were sold to the public or abandoned.

 

Visited with @The_Raw, @Maniac, @extreme_ironing and Elliot5200.

 

 

1

bild01.jpg

 

2

bild02.jpg

 

3

bild03.jpg

 

4

bild04.jpg

 

5

bild05.jpg

 

6

bild06.jpg

 

7

bild07.jpg

 

8

bild08.jpg

 

9

bild09.jpg

 

10

bild10.jpg

 

11

bild11.jpg

 

12

bild12.jpg

 

13

bild13.jpg

 

14

bild14.jpg

 

15

bild15.jpg

 

16

bild16.jpg

 

17

bild17.jpg

 

18

bild18.jpg

 

19

bild19.jpg

 

20

bild20.jpg

 

21

bild21.jpg

 

22

bild22.jpg

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks everyone! 

 

@The_Raw & @Maniac: Absolutely, was a great day! :) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


  • Similar Content

    • By Sectionate
      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
       
       
       
       
    • By The_Raw
      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  
    • By Andy
      The colliery Saint Fontaine was opened in 1908. For the extraction of hard coal, they dug to a depth of 1037 meters. In the 1960s, up to two million tons of hard coal were mined. In 1972 the colliery was closed for the first time, but in 1976 the operation was resumed. In 1986, the final closure, whereupon a large part of the buildings were demolished. Today, apart from the listed tower, only the administrative building including the locker room / pithead baths exists. In recent years, unfortunately, there was a lot of vandalism; last the ceiling lamps were destroyed by some idiots.
       
      In Saint Fontaine, there were repeated fatal accidents.
      On 3 January 1933, 36 miners were killed in a gas explosion.
      On May 29, 1959, another 26 workers were killed in another explosion.
      On September 23, 1968, three miners smothered.
       
      Visited with @The_Raw.
       
       
      1.

       
      2

       
      3

       
      4

       
      5

       
      6

       
      7

       
      8

       
      9

       
      10

       
      11

       
      12

       
      13

       
      14

       
       
       
       
×