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Thread: Maginot Line Summer 2010

  1. #1
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    Default Maginot Line Summer 2010


    With surprisingly little persuasion, mrs R&R agreed to stop off at the Magiont Line on the way to Alsace in July. We stayed overnight just past Thionville then followed the course of the line as far as St Avold, where the concrete gives way for a stretch to the Magionot line aquatique. Even 70 years on, the sheer scale and depth of the defences is staggering, and you could spend months just covering one sector.
    I was limited to just a few hours, so tried to include a cross-section of the defences. First stop was the medium sized artillery fort of Michelsberg. This is in the process of being renovated by a small group of enthusiasts.
    It consists of several artillety and infantry blocs, with miles of underground tunnels and the full infrastructure to maintain a garrison of 600 men under siege for several months.

    Fold down tables and chairs in the main tunnel, where the men would have eaten their meals:

    The base of a 75mm gun turret. The turret can still be turned and raised and lowered by hand.The original guns are in the workshop waiting to be fitted:

    Drinking fountain in one of the blocs:


    The defences around Michelsberg are more or less complete, with trench systems, barbed wire entanglements and smaller local hardened defences:


    Inside a smaller bunker guarding the rear of the line:





    Next stop was the smaller infantry fort of Bambesch, captured by the Germans in 1940. The withdrawal of the interval troups and the lack of artillery support left the fort vulnerable to attack.
    The damage done by German 88ís firing from a few hundred yards away:





    A few miles further on is the infantry fort of Teting-sur-Nied. I first visited here about 30 years ago, and it has scarcely changed. The Germans attacked here in force in 1940, but were continually beaten back by the forts machine gun turret and the timely support of 81mm mortars in the neighbouring fort of Laudrefang. The fort consisted of three blocks, block 1 not being linked to the other two.

    A German patrol assuming the bloc to be abandoned like the other interval casemates came down these steps:

    ..only to be fired upon by the soldier on guard in the entrance:

    The officer was killed and several other men were wounded. Teting remained uncaptured until the armistice.

    So that was all I had time for Ė hopefully Iíll make it back some time this year. Thanks for looking

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  4. #2
    Join Date
    January 2007
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    Wow, what a tour! It really brings it home when you see defences that were actually used and fired upon, I reckon. Great to see so many different defences and I loved the story of the guard at Teting...brave man.
    Cheers. :)
    "...If we lose our spiritual bond with the land they'll be nothing left of us as a nation..." Phil Rickman.

    I can't read and I can't write, but that don't really matter,
    I come from the west country and I can drive a tractor.


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