Hackenberg - The giant of the Maginot line

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The history of the largest work of the Maginot Line: design, construction, fighting of June 1940, post-war, today.

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Author Michel Truttmann
ISBN 978-2-9558385-3-2
Date of publication November 2019
Format 215 x 305 mm
Pagination 188 pages
Shaping Hardcover, cardboard cover
Weight 1.2 kg
Tongue French
Diverse 400 photos, most of them unpublished – Diagrams – Maps
Editor Arès - Toul

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Built between 1929 and 1935 straddle the eponymous hill, the Hackenberg (A19) is the largest structure on the Maginot line. In this formidable fortress buried in places at a depth of 96 meters, everything is excessive: two entrances, 17 combat blocks, divided into two half-structures west and east, 25 guns including 7 anti-tank, 33 light mortars, 30 machine guns and 60 machine guns, a storage capacity of nearly 80,000 shells and 1.5 million 7.5 mm cartridges, a thickness of 3.50 meters of concrete for the walls of the blocks exposed to blows, 10 kilometers of underground galleries.
In 1940, 43 officers and 1,040 crew members lived inside the structure; they belonged to the 164th RIF, the 163rd RAP, the 2nd, 15th and 18th Engineer Regiments.
Triggering the precise and deadly fires of its artillery in June 1940 but spared from a direct attack, the structure was reoccupied by the Germans and then partially reused in particular to slow down the advance of the Allies. Its Block 8 was then attacked and neutralized by American troops of the 90th Infantry Division in November 1944.
Maintained by the French army until the 1970s, it was sold in 1975 to the Amifort-Veckring association. Since then, it has been partially open to the public and receives nearly 50,000 visitors a year.
For the first time, Michel Truttmann, a renowned specialist in fortification, explores all the fields related to the design, construction and history of this giant of the Maginot line, thanks to unpublished testimonies and modern databases. This innovative work, the result of 45 years of research, is illustrated with nearly 400 photos, plans and diagrams.