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Ouvrage Schoenenbourg: Wikis

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Ouvrage Hochwald
Part of Maginot Line
Northeast France
Ligne Maginot Schoenenbourg.jpg
Ammunition entrance, Block 7
Construction
materials
Concrete, steel
Current
condition
Preserved
Open to
the public
Yes
Controlled by France
Battles/wars Battle of France
Ouvrage Schoenenbourg
Type of work: Large artillery work (Grand ouvrage)
sector
└─sub-sector
Fortified Sector of Haguenau
└─Sub-sector of Hoffen
Work number: 800
Constructed: 1932
Number of blocks: 8
Strength: 740
Localisation
Schoenenbourg carte.jpg
The main entrance of the Ouvrage Schoenenbourg today

Ouvrage Schoenenbourg is a Maginot Line fortification. It is located in the Hunspach and Ingolsheim districts, in the French département of Bas-Rhin, forming part of the Secteur Fortifié de Haguenau (Fortified Sector of Haguenau); Sous-Secteur de Hoffen (Sub-Sector of Hoffen), 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.

Contents

Description

The work is composed of eight blocks, with six combat blocks including two casemate blocks, a personnel entrance block and an ammunition entrance block. Underground galleries connect the blocks, extending more than 1500 meters in length.

  • Block 1: Infantry casemate on two levels, with two machine gun / 47mm anti-tank gun embrasures (JM/AC47), one flanking machine gun and two automatic rifle cloches (GFM), as well as an emergency exit. This block was particularly difficult to supply with ammunition, since it lacked a hoist, and all ordnance had to be carried by the troops.
  • Block 2: Infantry block with a machine gun turret and a GFM cloche. Like Block 1, no ammunition hoist was provided.
  • Block 3: Artillery block with one 75 mm gun turret and a GFM cloche. The block had an ammunition hoist with a capacity of 2.5 tons.
  • Block 4: Artillery block, identical to Block 3, with an additional [[VDP cloche|observation cloche (VDP).
  • Block 5: Artillery block with an 81 mm mortar turret, a GFM block and a grenade launcher cloche (LG) (never armed). The hoist capacity was 500 kg.
  • Block 6: Infantry casemate, identical to Block 1, with a single GFM cloche.
  • Block 7: Ammunition entry with two hoists of 5 and 2.5 ton capacity, two GFM cloches, three FM machine gun embrasures and one JM/AC47 embrasure. Radio communications were also available at this location.
  • Block 8: Personnel entry with a GFM cloche, an LG cloche, a JM/AC47 embrasure and two FM machine gun embrasures. Due to explosive demolition by the Germans in 1944, the block was reconstructed in 1950.

History

The fortification at Schoenenbourg is the one that saw the most combat between September 1939 and June 1940. Over this period, over 17,000 shells were fired from the fort, and it was itself the target of over 3000 shells and 160 bombs. On 19 June 1940, German Stukas attacked Schoenenbourg and other ouvrages, returning on the 20th and 21st. The attacks on the 21st were joined by a bombardment with 420 mm siege mortars, lasting three days. The bombardment cracked walls, but did not disable the position[1].

Current condition

The Ouvrage Schoenenbourg is now maintained by the Association des Amis de la Ligne Maginot d'Alsace (Alsace Association of Friends of the Maginot Line), which is responsible for the restoration of the fortification. The information point for visitors is in Block 7, with self-guided tours.

References

  • Allcorn, William. The Maginot Line 1928-45. Oxford: Osprey Publishing, 2003. ISBN 1-84176-646-1
  • Kauffmann, J.E. and Kaufmann, H.W. Fortress France: The Maginot Line and French Defenses in World War II, 2006. ISBN 0-275-98345-5

Notes

  1. ^ Kauffmann, p. 172

External links

See also

Coordinates: 48°58′00″N 7°54′43″E / 48.9666667°N 7.91194°E / 48.9666667; 7.91194

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