Maginot Line - Gros-Ouvarage Rochonvillers - Sept 23

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BikinGlynn

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Maginot Lines

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Ouvrage Rochonvillers is one of the largest of the Maginot Line fortifications. Located above the town of Rochonvillers in the French region of Lorraine, the gros ouvrage or large work was fully equipped and occupied in 1935 as part of the Fortified Sector of Thionville in the Moselle. It is located between the petit ouvrage d'Aumetz and the gros ouvrage Molvange, facing the border between Luxembourg and France with nine combat blocks. Rochonvillers saw little action during World War II, but due to its size it was repaired and retained in service after the war. During the Cold War it found a new use as a hardened military command centre, first for NATO and then for the French Army.

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Few days near Metz with the good lady gave me the opportunity to explore some of Frances finest so to not do one of the Maginot would of been a sin.
Big thanks to a few of you who helped me out immensely with these European splores, you know who you are.
Now I probably haven't done this place justice, the place is huge & I only saw a small portion.
As most of you may know Im not shy of being underground & I spent best part of 2hr on this one, but I suddenly got the realisation that absolutely no-one knew where I was, I was in a foreign country & didnt know any of the language (with the added bonus the french authorities have recently taken unkindly to people entering these) & I was potentially getting very lost in there, so I made the most sensible decision to retreat leaving this half explored.
What I did explore was pretty epic though.

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As always I have way too many pics, but I have had the grace to leave the above ground camp for a separate report.

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That will have to do, thanks for looking.

 
I know that feeling! Being alone and no one knowing where I am. Scary at times!
Yep I try to avoid it but not like u can get a signal in there lol.
I usually always have call out when underground but it was a "holiday explore" so for some reason didn't think I needed one lol
 
Liking that very much Glynn. I didn’t do this one when we had a spell of ‘Madging” because it was still very inaccessible. They hadn’t long stopped using it for NATO (air traffic deployment and control I understood) and the only way in at the time was apparently through one of the fighting blocks and then through some breach internally where they had closed the usable part from the redundant areas.

It looks nice although at the time we were looking to do it all the recently used areas were still pristine and chocka with relatively modern gear.

I like the beds, they used triple tier, triple side by side in the Verdun forts in WW1 - 9 to a bunk!!! Must have been awful. I can’t quite make it out (looking on my phone) but are these the same 3 x 3s?

Did you find much in the way of artillery still in situ? We did several Madges and “Verduns” where we found 75 QF guns, 155 mm ‘big thrutchers’, mortars, and in one Verdun fort even a machine gun, all still in the turrets, albeit minus breach blocks in every occurrence.
 
Superb set BG love the explore and have to thank TJ for bringing myself a a few others along on the maginot Verdun trip he did. There is defo a sense of don't want to be down here too long when you wander these places and its easy to get turned around in them :)
 
Liking that very much Glynn. I didn’t do this one when we had a spell of ‘Madging” because it was still very inaccessible. They hadn’t long stopped using it for NATO (air traffic deployment and control I understood) and the only way in at the time was apparently through one of the fighting blocks and then through some breach internally where they had closed the usable part from the redundant areas.

It looks nice although at the time we were looking to do it all the recently used areas were still pristine and chocka with relatively modern gear.

I like the beds, they used triple tier, triple side by side in the Verdun forts in WW1 - 9 to a bunk!!! Must have been awful. I can’t quite make it out (looking on my phone) but are these the same 3 x 3s?

Did you find much in the way of artillery still in situ? We did several Madges and “Verduns” where we found 75 QF guns, 155 mm ‘big thrutchers’, mortars, and in one Verdun fort even a machine gun, all still in the turrets, albeit minus breach blocks in every occurrence.
The bunk rooms varied but think most were 3x4, I was amazed by the amount of rooms, the corridor just seemed to go on & on with rooms either side
Didn't find any artillery in there but may b some hidden somewhere
 
Superb set BG love the explore and have to thank TJ for bringing myself a a few others along on the maginot Verdun trip he did. There is defo a sense of don't want to be down here too long when you wander these places and its easy to get turned around in them :)
I'd like to do more tbh, amazing places on a scale that we don't really have in UK
 
The bunk rooms varied but think most were 3x4, I was amazed by the amount of rooms, the corridor just seemed to go on & on with rooms either side
Didn't find any artillery in there but may b some hidden somewhere
Maybe they actually removed it from this fort due to it still being used so much later than the others for NATO purposes. All the others we visited without exception had artillery pieces in place of various types and calibres but mostly 75mm QF guns.
 
I'd like to do more tbh, amazing places on a scale that we don't really have in UK
Biggest thing I explored in the UK was the underground oil tanks at Lyness Naval Base up on the island of Hoy at Scapa Flow. We entered the hillside along a tunnel for quite some distance then came to a right hand dog leg which ran for about 100 yards or so. At four intervals there were large glass tubes on the walls starting at I think it was the 10 feet level and going up into the darkness out of sight. Each "tank" had a caged ladder ascending to the top so being a young adventurous burk I climbed up one and found it was 100 feet or so. At the top another ladder only about 10 feet high dropped down to a platform on the "inside" of the tank. I had a big Spiro divers light with me that would easily throw a beam half a mile but I could not see the back of the "tank" with it. It was quite scary because there was absolutely nothing on this oily platform to prevent me sliding off and falling into the oil below. I've often wondered how many millions of gallons of fuel oil there still was in those tanks because not a single tank was empty. That was back in about 1990 and I don't know at what point the fleet abandoned Scapa but I would guess it was about 1960 or so - that's a lot of heavy oil sitting underground for a very long time!
 
Biggest thing I explored in the UK was the underground oil tanks at Lyness Naval Base up on the island of Hoy at Scapa Flow. We entered the hillside along a tunnel for quite some distance then came to a right hand dog leg which ran for about 100 yards or so. At four intervals there were large glass tubes on the walls starting at I think it was the 10 feet level and going up into the darkness out of sight. Each "tank" had a caged ladder ascending to the top so being a young adventurous burk I climbed up one and found it was 100 feet or so. At the top another ladder only about 10 feet high dropped down to a platform on the "inside" of the tank. I had a big Spiro divers light with me that would easily throw a beam half a mile but I could not see the back of the "tank" with it. It was quite scary because there was absolutely nothing on this oily platform to prevent me sliding off and falling into the oil below. I've often wondered how many millions of gallons of fuel oil there still was in those tanks because not a single tank was empty. That was back in about 1990 and I don't know at what point the fleet abandoned Scapa but I would guess it was about 1960 or so - that's a lot of heavy oil sitting underground for a very long time!
Sounds like my kinda place lol.
Iv been in a pretty epic underground bomb facility which will remain nameless but not as big as this.
Have if course seen several mines that are larged
 
Great photos. Had a bit of a look around here last year, but didn't have time to go underground, so we explored the surface gun positions instead.
 
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