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Ouvrage Schoenenbourg

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Source: Richieman

Ouvrage Schoenenbourg is a Maginot Line fortification. It is located on the territory of the communes of Hunspach, Schœnenbourg and Ingolsheim, in the French département of Bas-Rhin, forming part of the Fortified Sector of Haguenau, facing Germany. At the east end of the Alsace portion of the Maginot Line, its neighbor is the gros ouvrage Hochwald. It is the largest such fortification open to the public in Alsace. Officially recorded as an historical monument, it retains all its original structural elements. Schoenenbourg was heavily bombarded during the Battle of France in 1940, receiving more enemy ordnance than any other position in France, with no significant damage. In 1945, retreating German troops used explosives to destroy much of the ouvrage. After the war it was fully repaired and placed back into service as part of a program to use Maginot fortifications to resist a potential Warsaw Pact advance through Europe. By the 1970s the plan had lost favor and funding, and Schoenenboug was abandoned. In 1987 a local organization undertook Schoenenbourg's preservation, and today it is open to public visitation.
The site was surveyed by CORF , the Maginot Line's design and construction agency; Schoenenbourg was approved for construction in June 1931. The gros ouvrage was intended to receive an additional turret in a second phase of construction, never pursued. Schoenenbourg is arranged as a typical gros ouvrage, with separate entrances for munitions and personnel almost 1,000 metres behind the closely grouped main combat blocks. Schoenenbourg lacks the large "M1" central magazine characteristic of most gros ouvrages. A total of 3,000 metres of galleries extend between 18 metres and 30 metres below the surface.


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