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Andy

France Leopold Bunker (visited 10/2017)

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The fortress with a lot of murals in its bunkers is part of the second fortified belt of forts of Metz and had its baptism of fire in late 1944, when the Battle of Metz occurred. The Fortification was part of a wider program of fortifications called "Moselstellung", encompassing fortresses scattered between Thionville and Metz in the valley Moselle. The aim of Germany was to protect against a French attack to take back Alsace-Lorraine and Moselle from the German Empire. The fortification system was designed to accommodate the growing advances in artillery since the end of XIXth century. Based on new defensive concepts, such as dispersal and concealment, the fortified group was to be, in case of attack, an impassable barrier for French forces.

 

Covering an area of 83 ha, the Fortress is constructed from 1907 to 1914. The group fortification has 2 fortified barracks and can accommodate a total of 560 men. It has 8 pieces of artillery, 6 of them 100mm and 2 of them 77mm. It has eight domes and twenty observation points and lookouts. The various items are connected by 1,700m of underground galleries. In its water tanks, it has 2,640 m3 of water. The energy required for its operation is ensured by seven diesel engines of 27 hp each.

During The Annexation of Alsace-Lorraine, the fort receives a garrison of gunners belonging to the XVIth Army Corps. From 1914-1918, it served as a relay for the German soldiers at the front post. Its equipment and weapons are then at the forefront of military technology. In 1919, the fort was occupied by the French army. After the departure of French troops in June 1940, the German army reinvests the fort. In early September 1944, at the beginning of the Battle of Metz, the German command integrates the fort into the defensive system set up around Metz.

In Second World War, on September 2, 1944, Metz is declared fortress Reich by Hitler. The fortress must be defended to the last by German troops.

 

Visited with The_Raw, extreme_ironing and Maniac.

 

 

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16 hours ago, AndyK! said:

Wow those lines of light in picture 3 are fantastic

 

Thanks! For this photo I've set the flashlight on a small cone of light. Then I moved it in a circle while I went through the tunnel. The result is rarely so uniform, but here it's quite well succeeded.

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