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Ouvrage Hackenberg

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Public | DutchFrenchGerman

Source: Nicolas Bouillon

Copyright: CC 3.0

Ouvrage Hackenberg, one of the largest of the Maginot Line fortifications, is part of the Fortified Sector of Boulay. It is situated twenty kilometers east of Thionville, in the Moselle département, near the village of Veckring, on the Hackenberg . It is located between gros ouvrage Billig and petit ouvrage Coucou, facing Germany. The fort occupies the wooded Hackenberg ridge. Before World War II it was considered a showpiece of French fortification technology, and was visited by British King George VI. In 1940 Hackenberg was never directly attacked, providing covering fire to neighboring positions and harassing nearby German forces. Its garrison was one of the last French units to surrender after the June 1940 armistice. In 1944, under German occupation, it was in action against American forces advancing along the Maginot Line. It resisted for three days before artillery bombardment from the rear forced the Germans to evacuate. Following World War II it became part of a strongpoint meant to delay a potential advance by Soviet forces into northeastern France. Hackenberg has been preserved and operates as a museum.
The site was approved in stages by CORF , the Maginot Line's design and construction agency, between 1929 and 1932. Work by the contractor Enterprise de Travaille de Fortification began in 1929 at a cost of 172 million francs. A planned second phase was to add two 81mm mortar turrets and three more casemates on the back side of the ridge. Original plans called for a turret block with 155mm guns and another with long-range 145mm guns. More than 1,200 metres of underground galleries connect the entries to the farthest blocks 4 and 5, at an average depth of 30 metres . An "M1" magazine, arranged with a horseshoe-shaped perimeter gallery connected by cross galleries between the legs, is located close to the ammunition entrance, while the large underground barracks and utility areas are just inside the personnel entry. The ouvrage is Y-shaped in plan, with the main gallery splitting in two almost 1,000 metres in from the ammunition entry. A 500-metre gallery runs to the principal combat blocks of the west wing, while the other passage runs another approximately 1,000 metres to the combat blocks of the east wing. The gallery system was served by a narrow-gauge electrified railway that continued out the ammunition entry and connected to a regional military railway system for the movement of materiel along the front a few kilometers to the rear.


Copyright: CC 3.0

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