Ouvrage Latiremont, Maginot line - France - May 2017

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Gromr

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The Maginot line has some of the most incredible underground fortifications you can explore in this part of Western Europe. A truly remarkable construction that you have to see yourself just to understand the shear scale of it.


History

The Maginot line is a series of fortifications built along the North East corner of France along the Luxembourg, German and Swiss boarder. Ouvrage Latiremont is one largest fortifications built very near the Luxembourg border.

Ouvrage Latiremont was approved for construction in May 1931 and cost 88 Million Francs to complete.

The fort was built with 6 blocks of guns of varying sizes(75mm, 81mm and Machine guns) as well as 4 entrances for Munitions and Personnel.

The entire network of Latiremont was manned by 600 men during its operation.

Unfortunately the Maginot line was entirely ineffective in WW2 as the Germans just went round through Belgium and avoided it completely.

Latiremont was re-conditioned during the Cold War, but eventually abandoned.



The Explore

I was off on holiday for a couple of weeks with my girlfriend to Europe, spending most of my time in Luxembourg. I had of course planned to do a couple of the local explores, but had not planned to visit any of the Maginot line at this point.

In fact rather embarrassingly I didn't really know much about the Maginot Line forts at all, so this was a learning experience for me.

Through shear coincidence, The_Raw, Maniac, extreme_ironing and elliot5200 were driving round Europe in a van on an exploring trip at during the time I was in Luxembourg. So when I happened to be messaging The_Raw and found out, a plan to meet up came together.

I will warn you, if you ever do plan to visit one of these forts, give yourself a lot of time because the size and scale of some of them means you could happily spend an entire day underground just to see all of it.
This was the mistake I made when I said to my girlfriend 'I'll only be a few hours'. 9 hours later...

Latiremont is one of the better examples I'm told, and certainly one of the largest with several kilometers of tunnels.

It took us a bit of time to find the way in, most of which was wandering through the woods trying to locate the different blocks. Once you are inside you have access to everything as every block is connected via the network of deep level tunnels. The tunnels average about 30m deep, but some were much deeper depending on ground level. Even with 4-5 hours underground I still only manage to see about 50% of it.


This is up there as one of the best explores I've ever done. Big thanks to The_Raw, Maniac, extreme_ironing and elliot5200 who are a great bunch.



Photos


Some of the guns emplacements.

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One of the Main entrances.

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The inside of the door.

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The first line of fortifications inside. You can see where the machine gun was positioned.

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The other side of the large door, jammed open with the long pipe.

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Travel down the many flights of stairs and you end up here, at the beginning of the deep tunnel system. Many of the lifts still remain in situ.

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Running along side the stairs and the personnel lift is the large vehicle lift shaft. The actual lift has been removed from this one though. This is looking upwards from the bottom.

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One of the biggest and thickest blast doors.

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Off to the right is one of the 'Stations' for the narrow gauge railway that was used through-out to transport munitions.

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The Station.

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This large room was a storage room is where the supplies were kept to supply the carts in the station.

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Some of the small carts are still left and still move, although are very heavy.

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One of the various fortifications along the deep tunnel. There were a few of these.

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The large pipe running along the ceiling is to extract the fumes of the large diesel generators.

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2 of the 8 generators still remain. These wonderful engines are a testiment of 1930-40s engineering. As an Engineer myself I was fascinated by these.

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One of the few murials in this fort.

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Another fortified doorway.

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The shower block

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The base of a lathe in a workshop.

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The main connecting tunnel that goes as far as you can see.

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In some places the floor was under a few inches of water. One section was completely in-accessible due to the water being far too deep.

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My personal favourite blast door.

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Another lift shaft and lift shaft drive system.

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The deepest lift shaft I saw. Probably about 50m deep.

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Hope you enjoyed this, thanks for reading.
 

Newage

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That's underground bunker porn of the finest kind.
I must try and get back tin France and do some of these.

Last time I was on my own and was unsure if I could get out
So had to abandon the trip.

Cheers for posting some epic picture.

Newage
 

fluffy5518

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Without a doubt one of the best underground reports to grace DP !! The lighting is nothing short of superb !! I'm gonna be dribblin' all night now !! Gonna have to get over to see this, it looks mint !
 

Brewtal

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That is just epic mate! Been dying to see these since you sent me a few teasers! You've done a damn fine job of lighting that place up I've gotta say. Can't wait to see the rest from your trip!
 

RedX_unleashed

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Fantastic set of shots Grom, thanks very much for sharing these - keep them coming :D . I love France, great if you're into World War history. I was holidaying there myself last year at Le Mans.
 

smiler

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To be honest Gromr I'm so feckin envious, One bloody good report and set of pics, Loved it Thanks.
 

Hugh Jorgan

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But there's more to see, you've only scraped the surface. There's a French urbex guy who did the whole lot over 5 months but I cannot find his website. Well done for doing this one as you found out it is pretty dangerous. Don't go alone.
 

BikinGlynn

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Brilliant, I too developed a slight obsession for that blast door!
Would love to get over one day for a look at these!
 

Gromr

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Thanks guys! The place is so photogenic its hard not to get a good photo.
 

jsp77

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what an amazing place and the lighting is brilliant Gromr123:encouragement:

How much trouble did you get in for staying out for so long?
 

prettyvacant71

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OMG that looks a dam scary place!!! Really amazin set of images you have taken, so clear and great lighting!!!:eagerness:

I wuda shat meself proper down there! I'd need 2 ruck sacks full of torches and another full of batteries, and at least 5 people waiting above ground incase any got sick or fell asleep...you did have someone above ground didn't you??? Them doors look proper scary if one shut behind you, I'd love to see that but I think I wud get left down there, on purpose ofcourse!
 

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