By Clayton Donnell

Following the defeat of France within the Franco-Prussian warfare of 1870-71 and the absorption of the provinces of Alsace and Lorraine into the newly shaped German Empire, the German military determined to build a fort line from Strasbourg to Luxembourg to guard their new territory and counter the nice fort approach that used to be being outfitted from Switzerland to Belgium, the center-piece of which used to be the good Moselstellung (Moselle place) of Metz/Thionville.

The castle consisted of concrete batteries that fired 10 and 15cm weapons from metal turrets, concrete barracks, infantry powerful issues with ditches defended via casemates, and urban trenches with shelters and metal remark cupolas. the complete place used to be surrounded via a large belt of barbed twine entanglements that have been defended through computing device gun and rifle positions, and hidden from the view of the attacker. Illustrated with images and entire colour cutaway art, this publication examines the layout and improvement of the fort and analyzes its use in strive against, focusing relatively at the half it performed in preserving up common Patton's 3rd Army's strengthen throughout France in 1944

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Additional resources for The German Fortress of Metz 1870-1944 (Fortress, Volume 78)

Sample text

One by one, the nearby forts also surrendered: Verdun – 26 November; St Privat – 27 November; St Quentin – 6 December; Plappeville – 7 December; Driant – 8 December (Fort Driant surrendered at 1545hrs to the 5th Infantry Division); finally, Fort Jeanne d’Arc fell on 13 December, two months and 12 days after US reconnaissance patrols first glimpsed the Moselle River. The final, successful envelopment of the position was attributed to combined ground forces and skilfully planned operations marked by thorough execution.

Note also the concrete reinforcement of the lower half of the façade. (National Archives and Record Administration) 54 Division met with some resistance from Fort St Julien. However, when they approached the fort and blasted open the iron door guarding the entry postern with a 90mm high-velocity gun mounted on a tank destroyer, German resistance ended quickly. At 1030hrs on 19 November, the 10th Infantry Regiment linked up with the cavalry squadron of the 90th Infantry Division, and Metz was completely encircled.

They cut through the wire and completely surprised the German sentries. Volksgrenadier Division, who, when the alarm was finally raised, rushed out of the tunnels to counterattack with mortars. The mortar and long-range gunfire were directed from the observation post on top of the fort. The heavy guns kept up a continuous barrage against troops moving past the hilltop. A platoon from the 315th Engineer Combat Battalion set about the destruction of the observation posts and the infantry exits. They placed satchel charges against the doors and on the stairs, closing off the exits and preventing the type of sneak attacks that took such a toll at Fort Driant.

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