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The Galgenberg Major Fortress

Category : Maginot Line
Department : Moselle

Ouverture : Visites les 2e et 4e dimanche du mois, d'avril à octobre, de 14 h à 18 h.

Association A15
29, rue des Peupliers
57570 Gravisse

TEL : (33) 3 82 55 34 69


The Hackenberg Major Fortress

Category : Maginot Line
Department : Moselle

The most powerful fort of the Maginot line, it is composed of 19 fighting blocks, 18 guns with a crew of 1034 part of 153rd position artillery regiment (RAP) and 164th fortress infantry regiment (RIF).
Situated on the wooded crest of the Hackenberg that culminates at 343 m high, the fort is divided in 2 ½ fortresses (east and west), which are joined by a long underground tunnel equiped with a railroad track. These galleries also join entrances situated on the other side of the hill and the indispensable infrastructures to the life of a thousand men.
After declaration of war, the fort is used by the propaganda as symbol of the Maginot line. Personalities follow each other to visit the site, among them the king of England and Winston Churchill.
After 9 months of inactivity, the Hackenberg wakes up June 18, 1940. Germans who occupy Metz since the 17 progress toward the line taking the fort to reverse. The artillery of the fort is used on June 22 to sustain the neighboring fort of the Michelsberg in prey to a violent German attack. The crew puts down weapons on June 30 after the armistice and goes to captivity.
Beginning 44, the Germans establish an underground factory in the munition storage M1 and in the underground barracks. This factory manufacturing pieces for the mechanical industry is evacuated in August 44 with the threat of the allied advance.
In November 44, the progression of elements of the US 90th infantry-division in direction of the wooded crest of the Hackenberg is stopped by a violent shooting of dam. In a few minutes more of 60 deaths and injured strew soil. Shooting comes from the VIII block where some Germans entrenched themselves. Americans make call to their heavy artillery and the following day, a US self-propelled cannon of 155 mm makes tense shootings on the occupied block, neutralizing one by one the 3 cannons of 75 mm served by the Germans. These only deploring a killed, fold back, no without having blown up stocks of weapons and present munitions in the storage room M1.
Restored in part by the Amifort-Veckring association, this fort is the most touristic one of the Maginot line. Little trip on munition train, visit of the rich exhibition rooms full of various weapons (armored vehicles, machine guns of all origins, rifles etc) sometimes without big report with the fortification, pedestrian circuit joining the different blocks by the outside. The Hackenberg is however "the fort" of the Maginot line.
Arming : 3 x 135 mm cannons, 3 x 135 mm bomb-launchers, 4 x 81 mm mortars, 9 x 75 mm cannons, 3 x 50 mm mortars, 7,5 mm machine guns and light machine guns.

Opening : Opened from the 1st of april to the 30th of october on Saturdays and Sundays
Visits start from 2 PM to 3.30 PM.

AMIFORT - Tourisme Information
Fort du Hackenberg
61 bis, Grand'Rue
57920 Veckring

TEL : (33) 3 82 82 30 08
FAX : (33) 3 82 82 32 77


The Immerhof Major Fortress

Category : Maginot Line
Department : Moselle

The Immerhof is a small maginot line fort. Consisting of four combat blocks, it was built from 1930. Operational since 1935, it is put on alert on August 1939. The phoney war is going on without noteworthy action and the fort undergoes its baptism of fire during the western German attack in May 1940. The garrison surrenders after the armistice on June 30, 1940. During the Cold War the fort is rehabilitated and rearmed. The army leaves it after the withdrawal of France's integrated military command of NATO in 1966.
Owned by the town of Hettange-Grande, the fort is open to visits since 1974. The association "Le Tiburce" which maintains and renovates the Immerhof also organizes guided tours of the fort.

Opening : By appointment or on every month the second and fourth Sunday from April to September or during French legal holidays (from 2 PM).

Association "Le Tiburce"
5, rue des Sorbiers
57330 Hettange-Grande

TEL : (33) 3 82 53 09 61
FAX : (33) 3 82 53 09 61


The Infantry Fortress of Bois de Bousse

Category : Maginot Line
Department : Moselle

Commené en 1931, le Petit Ouvrage du Bois de Bousse fut achevé en octobre 1934. Il s'agit d'un ouvrage d'infanterie de classe moyenne. Lors de la mobilisation de 1939, l'ouvrage était occupé par 138 hommes et 4 officiers. Ceux-ci mettaient en oeuvre, 12 mitrailleuses (dont 2 sous tourelle), 28 fusils-mitrailleurs (dont 23 sous cloches cuirassées), 3 canons de 47 mm et 6 mortiers de 50 mm. L'ouvrage était une véritable ville souterraine avec cuisines, douches, caserne et l'alimentation en électricité se faisait grâce à des groupes électrogènes diesels.

Visites du Fort (en français et en allemand) pour les individuels, tous les premiers dimanches du mois, d'avril à octobre inclus de 14 h 00 à 18 h 00, pour les groupes toute l'année sur rendez-vous.
D'une durée d'une heure trente, la visite guidée vous fera découvrir successivement, le bloc d'entrée, la galerie principale, la caserne, les cuisines, la salle des fresques, la salle des moteurs et le bloc de combat n°2. De plus, un sentier pédestre vous permettra de découvrir les extérieurs du fort.

O. Terver

Fort aux Fresques
1, rue de la Fontaine
57320 Hestroff

TEL : (33) 3 87 35 77 96
FAX : (33) 3 87 35 74 39


The Michelsberg Major Fortress

Category : Maginot Line
Department : Moselle

A dynamic association, organized by French and German voluntaries restore this fort. 

You will be able to admire a middle class artillery fort while following explanations of guides themselves implied in the restoration of this fortress.
They will make you part of their discoveries and will explain to you mechanisms of all sytems (shooting, filtering of air...) which was adapted or invented to make these forts modern citadels.

Opening : Opened all Sundays of April to inclusive September from 2 pm to 6 pm and all year round on appointment.

Association Ouvrage du Michelsberg "22 juin 1940"
6, rue du Dr Schweitzer
57100 Thionville

TEL : (33) 3 87 64 99 64 (Répondeur en semaine)


"Remember" Museum

Category : Atlantic Wall
Department : Côtes-d'Armor

Ouvert récemment par un collectionneur, ce musée aménagé dans une ancienne carrière à ciel ouvert présente plus de 3000 pièces d'époque. A noter la reconstitution très fidèle de l'intérieur d'un blockhaus du mur de l'Atlantique avec la chambrée, la salle radio et la casematte de tir équipée d'une arme mixte Skoda.

Ouverture : Pendant les vacances scolaires et jours fériés de 10 h à 12 h et de 13 h 30 à 18 h 30.

Le Pont de la Haye
22100 Dinan

TEL : (33) 2 96 39 53 48

Accès : Le musée est situé au sud-ouest de Dinan non loin de l'entrée principale du Centre Hospitalier Spécialisé Saint Jean de Dieu.
L'accès au site est fléché.


Aleth Citadel - 1939-1945 Memorial

Category : Atlantic Wall
Department : Ille-et-Vilaine

The site was successively fortified by the Gauls before our era, by the time Gallo Roman and also during the XVI-th century by Vauban.
From 1941 the German occupation troops strengthened existing fortifications by the addition of concrete defense blocks connected each others by 1300 m of underground tunnels dug in granite stone.
In August, 1944 the cite d'Aleth was with Cezembre island, the last German point of resistance of Saint Malo's fortress to capitulate.
Unfortunately for safety reasons, only a small part of the fortress is opened to visits.
The visitable part, well restored, is fitted out on the three levels of the bunker situated inside Vauban's fort.

Opening : From April till June and from September till November.
Conducted tours (one hour) take place from Tuesday till Sunday at 2 pm, 3.15 pm, and 4.30 pm.

Cité d'Aleth

Allée Gaston Buy
35400 Saint Malo

TEL : (33) 2 99 40 71 57

Access : From Saint Malo, take Saint Servan direction. In Saint Servan, follow the roadsigns to the Memorial.


Azeville battery

Category : Atlantic Wall
Department : Manche

M Letellier
La Rue
50310 Azeville

TEL : (33) 6 63 11 60 20


Longues Battery

Category : Atlantic Wall
Department : Calvados

Located on the sea shore, this battery was built on a cliff of 200 ft high. It consisted of a shooting command post and 4 bunkers with 150 mm gun. The Longues battery was bombarded at the dawn of June 6 just before the landing. Nevertheless it remained operational during the whole day and did many shots on the landing fleet in front of "Gold Beach" (located east from the battery). Longues was reduced to silence on June 6 in the evening by the a concentrated shot of many allied cruisers. The day after, the battery surrendered without any fight to British troops.
60 years later Longues is very well preserved, it is the only battery of the landing beaches which kept all its guns.

Opening : Visits are free.

M Regnault
14400 Longues-sur-Mer

TEL : (33) 2 31 06 06 45

Access : Longues is located at 5 miles North from Bayeux city.


Merville Battery

Category : Atlantic Wall
Department : Calvados

In 1944, the Merville battery main fire was composed of four 100 mm howitzers in bunkers. Used by a garrison of 130 soldiers and covering an area of 12 acres, its close defense was provided by minefields, anti-aircraft guns and machine guns bunkers. Located at 1.5 mile from beaches, its targets were given by the command bunker located on Merville-Franceville beach. Because of this battery threat on the river Orne estuary, the British high command decided to neutralize it the night before the landing.
During June 5/6 1944 night, this battery was taken by assault by the British parachutists of the 9th battalion of the British 6th airborne division.
A museum fitted out in one of bunker redraws this airborne troops attack which neutralized Merville before the landing.

Opening : March 15th to May 31st : every days from 9.30 am to 6 pm.
June, July, September : every days from 9.30 am to 7 pm.
September 1st to November 15th : every days from 9.30 am to 6 pm.
Museum opening during the winter on booking.

Musée de la Batterie de Merville
Hôtel de Ville
14810 Merville-Franceville

TEL : (33) 2 31 91 47 53 or (33) 2 31 91 47 53


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