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Andy

France Gros Ouvrage Mont des Welches (visited 10/2017)

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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.

 

 

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On 27.11.2017 at 7:09 PM, The_Raw said:

Some epic shots there mate, much different to what I came away with 

 

Thanks! I look forward to see your photos from there.

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