Ouvrage Simserhof is a gros ouvrage of the Maginot Line, located near the community of Sierstal in the French département of Moselle. Simserhof is adjoined by petit ouvrage Rohrbach and gros ouvrage Schiesseck, and faces the German frontier. Located 4 km to the west of Bitche, the ouvrage derived its name from a nearby farm. It was a part of the Fortified Sector of Rohrbach. During the Battle of France in 1940, Simserhof supported its neighboring fortifications with covering artillery fire, with partial success. After the surrender of France, it was occupied by the Germans as a storage depot for torpedoes, and later resisted the American advances of late 1944. Taken by the Americans, it was briefly re-occupied by the Germans during Operation Nordwind. Following the war it was repaired for use by the French Army, but was proposed as a museum of the Maginot Line as early as the 1960s. Retained by the Ministry of Defense, Simserhof now functions as a museum, and has the most extensive visitor infrastructure of any of the preserved Maginot fortifications.
Initial project planning was led by Colonel Frossard. The first concept consisted of five closely spaced blocks fronted by an anti-tank ditch. The entry for the ouvrage was to be built in a ravine to the rear, with a 60 cm rail line running to a supply network farther behind the lines. The plan was rejected in July 1929 by CORF , the central planning agency for the Maginot Line. A number of objections were raised, including the amount of clear-cutting required, and an insufficient field of fire with dead ground exploitable by an attacker.
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