Driving from the hotel to La Ferté we drove through the town of Montmedy and got a look at the outside of the mid-16th century citadel. This looks very interesting and I think I will plan a trip there (so many forts so little time).
OUVRAGE DE LA FERTÉ
The Maginot Line was extended to cover the area around Montmedy. Work began in 1934 and consisted of two gros ouvrages, 2 petits ouvrages and a number of infantry and artillery casemates. The fort of La Ferté is the Western end of the Maginot Line proper and was constructed between September 1935 and December 1937.
The Guide lists the armaments as :-
1 A/T gun 47mm
5 A/T guns 25mm
14 machine guns 7.5mm MAC model 1931
10 automatic rifles 7.5mm model 1924/29 (FM24/29)
4 hand grenade launchers
800,000 rounds of 7.5mm.
This fort is the only Maginot fort to fall to a German attack, which resulted in all of its garrison of 105 men being killed.
The fort is now in private hands and has been restored to be fully accessible. It has a new visitor centre that sells a very good guidebook. The following four pictures I have copied from this Guide.
|Map showing the forts and casemates of the Montmedy Fortified Region with La Ferté in the top left corner|
|Aerial view, Bloc 1 at top centre, Bloc 2 in the centre of the photo|
|Leaflet showing Bloc 1 and its anti-tank rails and barbed wire|
|The excellent Guidebook|
|The view from Bloc 1 towards the next work at Margut|
|Our excellent and very knowledgeable guide whose name I cannot remember (sorry)|
|47mm A/T gun (left) and twin machine guns (right)|
|Entrance over ditch by the drawbridge covered by FM24/29|
|Inside, foreground 47mm A/T gun, background twin 7.5mm machine guns|
|Combination weapon for cloche and turret, 25mm A/T gun and twin 7.5mm machine guns|
|Pictures from the leaflet above, showing the passage and the engine room|
These next four photos show the cantilever arm for the retractable turret.
Outside Bloc 2, The metal hoops are for the radio antenna.
|The retractable turret for 2 combination weapons, blown off its mount by German engineers|