The Fort de Plappeville, or Feste Alvensleben, is a military fortification located to the northwest of Metz in the commune of Plappeville. As part of the first ring of the fortifications of Metz, it is an early example of a Séré de Rivières system fort. While it did not see action during World War I, it was the scene of heavy fighting between American forces and German defenders at the end of the Battle of Metz, in 1944. After Second World War it became a training center for the French Air Force. Fort 'Alvensleben' has been abandoned since 1995.
The Fort de Plappeville is part of the first ring of the Metz fortifications, built during the Second Empire by Napoleon III. The works began in 1867. It was designed by Raymond Adolphe Séré de Rivières, who oversaw the initial stages of the Metz fortifications. The fort was not complete in 1870 when war was declared between France and Germany. The defensive system would be completed and improved by German engineers between 1871 and 1898. The fort mounted about 100 guns and had a garrison of about 1600 men. Half-buried in a slope, the fort dominates the valley of the Moselle. Conceived to resist distant artillery fire, it also has a system of ditches evocative of the fortifications of Vauban. The fort resembles the contemporary Fort de Queuleu and the Fort de Saint-Julien, using a bastioned layout that would be quickly superseded in forts begun a few years later. The fort's barracks differ from those at Saint-Quentin and Queleu, and are located under the artillery platform of cavalier. Batteries on the Plappeville plateau, equipped with artillery turrets, complete the defense of the principal fort. Two of the most important armored batteries have four armored turrets with 150mm guns.
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