The Fortifications of Metz
, a city in northeastern France
, are extensive, due to the city's strategic position near the border of France and Germany
. After the Franco-Prussian War
of 1870, the area was annexed by the newly created German Empire
in 1871 by the Treaty of Frankfurt
and became a Reichsland
. The German Army decided to build a fortress line from Mulhouse
to protect their new territories. The centerpiece of this line was the great Moselstellung
, between Metz
, in Lorraine
Clayton Donnell (2008), The German Fortress of Metz 1870–1944
, Osprey Publishing..
The fortifications around Metz consisted of casemates
, concrete barracks
, infantry strong points, and concrete batteries
, equipped with rotating steel turrets
(100–150 mm). Each position was surrounded by several ditches, or concrete trenches, with shelters and observation cupolas
. A large barbed wire belt, defended by machine gun and rifle positions, completed the defensive system.
Forts had usually several large blockhouse style barracks. These had 3-meter thick reinforced concrete roofs with 2-meter thick walls. They were partially buried under as much as of compacted earth. Underground tunnels connected all of the structures. The fort also had deep wide trenches, some as much as in both dimensions. They were also surrounded by a thick layer of barbed wire entanglements.
Each fort had 2–4 batteries
, equipped with hydraulic rotating steel turrets... Read More