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Coordinates: 49°03′25″N 7°13′21″E / 49.05694°N 7.2225°E / 49.05694; 7.2225

Ouvrage Welschhof
Part of Maginot Line
Northeast France
Cloche am.jpg
Block 3 cloche with marks of the German attack of June 1940
Construction
materials
Concrete, steel
In use Abandoned
Controlled by France
Battles/wars Battle of France
Ouvrage Welschhof
Type of work: Small artillery work (Petit ouvrage)
sector
Fortified Sector of Rohrbach
Regiment: 166th Fortress Infantry Regiment
Number of blocks: 3
Strength: 160

Ouvrage Welschhof was a lesser work (petit ouvrage) of the Maginot Line, located near Rohrbach in the Moselle (département), near the village of Gros-Réderching. The ouvrage consisted of three infantry blocks, and was located between petit ouvrage Haut-Poirier and gros ouvrage Simserhof, facing Germany.

Contents

Description

The initial plans envisioned five blocks, but Block 4 (with an 81 mm mortar turret) and an entry block were never constructed. The petit ouvrage therefore comprises three blocks:

  • Block 1: Infantry block, combined with the entry, with one machine gun (JM)/47mm anti-tank gun embrasure (JM/AC47), one machine gun embrasure (JM) and one mixed-arms embrasure (unique in the Line). The block is surmounted by an AM cloche and the automatic rifle cloches of Type B.
  • Block 2: Submerged (in the ground) block with a mixed-arms turret and a Type B GFM cloche.
  • Block 3: Infantry block opposite Block 1, with a JM/AC47 embrasure, a JM embrasure, two GFM cloches (Type B) and an AM cloche. The usine used two 85 horsepower (63 kW) SNIM engines.

Manning

In 1939 the garrison comprised 160 men of the 166th Fortress Infantry Regiment under the command of Captain Lhuisset.

History

On 21 June 1940 the Wehrmacht's 462nd Infantry Division attacked and was stopped by fire from the 75 mm gun turret at Simserhof. The observers at Welschhof spotted counter-battery fire for Ouvrage Haut-Poirier against a German 150 mm gun.

During the night of 21-22 June, Haut-Poirier and Casemates Wittring, Grand-Bois and Nord-Est d'Achen surrendered to the Germans. During the morning of 22 June the Germans assembled a battery of light artillery to attack Welschhof, which was no longer covered by the positions to the west. The 75 mm turret at Simserhof fired in support of the Welschhof block. The Germans moved two 150 mm guns from the entrance to Simmerhof and began to attack Block 1 at Welschof and Casemate Ouest de Singling. 111 150mm rounds were fired at the façade of Block 1, breaching it, but the covering fire from Simmerhof Block 5 continued to prevent the Germans from attacking the top of the block. On the morning of 24 June the tide turned and Simmerhof, at the limit of its range, could no longer fire on the top of Welschhof. Having learned of the fall of the Casemate de Bining, which protected Welschhof's flank, Captain Lhuisset decided to surrender at 10:00.

Welschhof, in poor condition after the war, was used by the French Army and is today in ruins. It has been acquired by local authorities.

Notes

External links

See also

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