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France Gros-Ouvrage Latiremont - December 2019

ikkdjct

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The Explore:

While on holiday in Luxembourg this Christmas I decided to visit the "Gros-Ouvrage Latiremont", one of the Maginot Line bunkers, just accross the border in France, with a friend of mine. Access to Latiremont is pretty starightforward and we spend nearly 4 hours in there. Like it's cousin the Gros-Ouvrage Brehain, Latiremont is huge, probably about 1.5km from end to end and it consists off 6 "bunkers", a munitions entrance, a personnel entrance, living quarters and a small powerstation. Even after exploring for 4 hours we had not managed to see everything and I would definitely like to visit again. Progress was slowed down by the amount of water sloshing around that place, to say that it is water-logged is a bit of an understatement. Some of the stairways up to the gun-turrets in the bunkers looked more like waterfalls than stairways.

The History:

The Maginot Line was a line of concrete fortifictions build by France in the 1930s to counter any invasions by Nazi Germany. The Maginot Line was constructed on the French side of its borders with Italy, Switzeland, Germany and Luxembourg but did not stretch along the Belgium border to the English channel due to the alliance between France and Belgium. However, when the Second World War began in 1940, belgium had become a neuitral nation in an effort to appease Nazi Germany. France started to continue the Maginot Line along the Belgium border but construction had just began when the German army emerged from the Ardennes.

The Gros-Ouvrage Latiremont is located in the Maginot Line's Fortified Sector of the Crusnes and it was active in 1939-1940 and surrendered to the German army on the 27th of June 1940. More than 1,200 metres (3,900 ft) of underground galleries connect the entries to the farthest block, at an average depth of 30 metres (98 ft). An ammunition magazine, arranged with parallel galleries connected by cross galleries, is located close to the ammunition entrance, while the underground barracks and utility areas are just inside the personnel entry. The gallery system was served by a narrow-gauge (60 cm) railway that continued out the ammunition entry and connected to a regional military railway system for the movement of materiel along the front a few kilometers to the rear. Several "stations" along the gallery system, located in wider sections of gallery, permitted trains to pass or be stored.

After the surrender in 1940 the Gros-Ouvrage Latiremont did not see much further fighting. In 1951 the French started to restore the bunker in order to stop a potential advance by the Warsaw Pact. However, after the establishment of the French Nuclear Strike Force the importance of the Gros-Ouvrage Latiremont declined and the bunker was abandoned.

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The_Raw

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Awesome. Always enjoy seeing pictures from here and you've got some bangers. Especially the last one ?
 
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