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PostPosted: Sat Sep 19, 2015 3:50 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 23, 2008 8:26 pm
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Location: On the shores of Lake Armstrong
German Fortress in Alsace, near Straßburg, meant to guard that city and the Rhine approaches. Saw combat for a grand total of one day and fired some 260ish shells in anger. Still, well preserved and in partial use by the French Army (some communications stuff according to my bad schoolboy French) so only about 10% of the whole area have been restored and can be visited, and that only in groups.

Went to see it today, but alas, only had my phone camera.

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Comemmoration stone made to honour Kaiser Bill's visit during construction, and origianlly placed not at the parking lot but at the eastern gate. The eagle on top was originally bronze, but was nicked by US troops at the end of WW2.

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Main trench of the fortress. Up there near the cars you can see the booth where they sell tickets.

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More trench.

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Machine gun casematte to defend above trench. Two machine gun posts and the observation port. The big one on the top was meant to hold an electric light to allow fighting at night.

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MG 08 in the same fighting position, with the hole armour closed. What you can't see on those pictures was that the roofs were lined with corrugated metal since bits of mortar falling down when under shelling was considered destructive to morale.

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The same open. They had only one MG in there, but it could be fully traversed.

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Underground tunnel connecting the above position with the main works, 17 metres underground.

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Alas, Germany. Orders on what to do with the only sink in a 40 man barracks.

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One of the sleeping rooms.

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Model of one of the 105cm gun turrets. Those haven't been restored since they are in the restricted area.

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This tunnel was some 150 metres long

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Water pump of one of the smaller wells. Each barracks had it's own, and there are some 10 of them. This one is the smallest one, only 94 metres deep.

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Some views of the engine rooms used to generate electrical power. Everything in the fortress was electrical, though there exist manual backups for everything. One of the Diesels has been made functional again and they fire it up about once a month.

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Hospital bed.

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Cooking pot in one of the kitchens which are oddly enough right next to the hospital.

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Can anyone i.d. this rifle for me, please?

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Infantry trench with 5cm close support cannon. Those were considered ancient in 1914 and were quickly reinforced with additional machine guns.

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Air vents on one of the Infantry barracks.

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Infantry trench again. By then it had started raining heavily.

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One of the main artillery positions.

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Detail views of one of the gun turrets in the above.

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Closeup of the same position.

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Rainbow we saw on the way back.

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Elevator testing tower near Rottweil. Taken when it was darkening. When this is done, it will be the country's highest observation platform, even though the Berlin TV tower is ultimately taller.

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One of the elments the tower will be covered in. Made from Carbon fibre, this is meant to make it less suceptible to winds and to shield the outside from the weather.

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To give you a perspective of how friggin tall this thing is, they put up some lawnchairs. I sat down in one and took this picture, and I really had the sense as if it was falling towards me.

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_________________
“Ancient astronauts didn't build the pyramids. Human beings built the pyramids, because they're clever and they work hard.”

-Gene Roddenberry


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