After Day 1 in Liege, we travelled to Thionville, a few miles north of Metz, for three nights in the Ibis Hotel.
|Map copied from Anthony Kemp's book "The Maginot Line"|
Day 2. We travelled west, visiting the large ouvrage at Fermont, then the small ouvrage of La Ferté which is the last, most westerly of the main Maginot Line.
Day 3. We coached north to the small ouvrage at Immerhof then east to the largest ouvrage on the Maginot Line, Hackenberg.
Day 4, return to England.
The Maginot Line is not a continuous line, like the trench lines of WW1. It is a series of large and small forts and works falling roughly into the these categories:
Gros Ouvrages - artillery forts -
Petits Ouvrages - infantry forts -
A considerable amount of barbed wire fields and anti-tank obstacles.
The French designed the ouvrages and casemates to standard plans, using the same parts and weapons.
The Line was set back from the frontier. following a line of hills. On the frontier at crossing points maisons fortes (fortified houses) were manned by gardes mobiles or frontier police. In the gap between the main line and the frontier, avant postes were built. There were bunkers with machine guns and a/t guns, their duties included defensive demolitions.
In addition, older works were pressed into service. This included WW1 forts, such as there were forts built by the Germans in around 1900 during the Annexation. Around Thionville, the three German built forts of Guentrange, Illange and Konigsmacker were part of a second line or back-up positions to the Maginot Line.