The memorial at Hartmannswillerkopf
|For World War I battles at Hartmannswillerkopf|
The Hartmannswillerkopf from the Molkenrain
|Elevation||956 m (3,136 ft) |
|Translation||Old Armand (French)|
|Parent range||Vosges Mountains|
Hartmannswillerkopf, also known as the Vieil Armand or Hartmannsweiler Kopf (Hartmansweiler Head) is a pyramidal rocky spur in the Vosges mountains of Alsace. The peak stands at 956 metres (3,136 ft) overlooking the Rhine valley. At Hartmannswillerkopf stands a national monument of World War I for the fighting which took place in the trenches here.
The French and Germans fought for control of the mountain peak during the First World War. Fighting took place throughout 1915. 30,000 died near Hartmannswillerkopf during the First World War, with the majority of deaths suffered by the French. After about 11 months of fierce combat, both sides began to focus most of their attention farther north on the Western Front. Only enough men to hold the lines were left at Hartmannswillerkopf. The lines remained relatively stable for the remainder of the war and generally only artillery exchanges took place.
Today, the area is a French national monument. There is a museum and a cemetery at the site, and it is also possible to explore the extensive trench system. Because the lines were static for such a long period, the trenches are very well preserved, especially on the German side of the front line. As of 2011[update], restoration work ahead of the centenary of the war means that access to the memorial is restricted.
On 3 August 2014, French President Francois Hollande and German President Joachim Gauck together marked the centenary of Germany's declaration of war on France by laying the first stone of a memorial at Hartmannswillerkopf, for French and German soldiers killed in the war.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Hartmannswillerkopf.|
- IGN maps available on Géoportail
- Le Hartmannswillerkopf (68)
- "French, German Presidents Mark World War I Anniversary". France News.Net. Retrieved 3 August 2014.