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.
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.