Gros Ouvrage A19 Hackenberg

Ouvrage du Hackenberg


Useful Information

Location: Rte Militaire, 57920 Veckring.
(49.3415213, 6.3655276)
Open: JAN to MAR Wed, Sat 14.
APR to mid-NOV Mon-Fri 14:30, Sat, Sun, Hol 14, 15:30, English 14:15.
Booking required.
[2023]
Fee: Adults EUR 15, Children (0-15) EUR 6, Students EUR 11.
[2023]
Classification: SubterraneaWorld War II Bunker SubterraneaUnderground Museums TopicLigne Maginot TopicRoute des Fortifications Européenes
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension: T=12 °C.
Guided tours: D=2.5 h.
Photography: not allowed
Accessibility: no
Bibliography:  
Address: Amifort Veckring, 61bis grande rue, 57920 Veckring, Tel: +33-382-82-30-08. E-mail:
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.

History

1930 begin of construction.
1933 begin of internal outfitting.
1936 fortress completed and handed over to the military command.
1939 fortress placed in full alert state all the Phoney War long.
1940 fights during the War of France.
JUN-1940 surrended a few days after the armistice.
NOV-1944 breached by General George S. Patton's Third US Army during the bloody battle for Moselle River.

Description

Gros Ouvrage A19 Hackenberg or Ouvrage Hackenberg is one of the largest fortifications of the Maginot Line, that's why it is also known as Gros Ouvrage du Hackenberg (Large Hackenberg Fortification). It is part of the Fortified Sector of Boulay, 20 km east of Thionville. The site is quite spectacular with a 2 h underground tour with bomb launcher turrets, guns, and an underground train. The fully functioning three story 100-ton turrets are probably the most spectacular weapons. There are also four generators that are over 100 years old and still fully functional. As part of the maintenance they are turned on once a month, so you must be lucky to be on that tour.

This fortress was one of the very first to be built, and thus it was a prototype for the artillery fortresses of the Maginot Line. Around 1,800 workers with very limited machinery worked for six years to erect 19 combat blocks and to drive more than 10 km of galleries. After three years of work, the outfitting of the interior started, and finally after six years it was handed over to the military command. Like all structures of the Maginot Line it was manned at the outbreak of the war, but nothing happened until the War of France in June 1940. There were some fights, but actually it surrended a few days after the armistice. Another fight was at the end of the war, when the retreating Germans manned the fort against General George S. Patton's Third US Army. They had to breach it in a bloody battle.

The Hackenberg Fortress is owned by the Military Heritage Authority of the Departement of Defense. It is operated by the non-profit association Amifort Veckring, a group of some 30 volunteers.