Ouvrage Castillon

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Ouvrage Castillon
Part of Maginot Line, Alpine Line
Southeast France
Ouvrage Castillon is located in France
Ouvrage Castillon
Ouvrage Castillon
Coordinates 43°50′15″N 7°27′30″E / 43.83743°N 7.45828°E / 43.83743; 7.45828
Site information
Controlled by France
Open to
the public
No
Site history
Built 1931
Built by CORF
In use Abandoned
Materials Concrete, steel, rock excavation
Battles/wars Italian invasion of France, Operation Dragoon
Ouvrage Castillon
Type of work: Large artillery work (Gros ouvrage)
sector
└─sub-sector
Fortified Sector of the Maritime Alps
└─Corniches, Quartier Castillon
Work number: EO 8
Regiment: 58th DBAF, 157th RAP
Number of blocks: 5
Strength: 7 officers, 337 men

Ouvrage Castillon is a work (gros ouvrage) of the Maginot Line's Alpine extension, the Alpine Line, also called the Little Maginot Line. The ouvrage consists of one entry block, two infantry blocks, and two artillery blocks in a narrow ridge just to the west of Castillon, Alpes-Maritimes. It was built on the original site of Castillon, destroyed by an earthquake in 1887.[1] It is the next gros ouvrage in the line to the north of Ouvrage Sainte-Agnès, and is within firing range of the Mediterranean coastline.

Ouvrage Castillon was built by a contractor named Borie from November 1931 to October 1934 at a cost of 15.6 million francs.[2] Castillon was manned in 1940 by 344 men under the command of Captain Finton.[3]

Description[edit]

Castillon was arranged on multiple levels, with the combat blocks significantly higher than the entry block, which is directly off paved road. However, because of the vulnerability of its supply line, Castillon was provided with two levels of utility, supply and magazine space, capable of holding four times the usual quantities of supplies and munitions.[4]

  • Block 1 (entry): three machine gun embrasures.[5]
  • Block 2 (ventilation), unoccupied.
  • Block 3 (artillery block): one machine gun cloche, one grenade launcher cloche, two 75mm/1929 guns and two 81mm mortars.[6]
  • Block 4 (infantry block): one machine gun cloche, one grenade launcher cloche, one twin machine gun cloche and one twin machine gun embrasure.[7]
  • Block 5 (combat block): one machine gun cloche and one grenade launcher cloche one twin machine gun embrasure.[8]
  • Block 6 (infantry block): one machine gun cloche and two 81mm mortars.[9]

Advanced posts[edit]

Castillon was associated with two avants-postes located about halfway between the ouvrage and the Italian frontier. These posts were built by MOM (Main d’Œuvre Militaire) in 1930 to a lesser standard than the CORF (Commission d'organisation des régions fortifiées)-built main line ouvrage. The avant-poste Baisse-de-Scuvion 43°51′01.9″N 07°28′24.18″E / 43.850528°N 7.4733833°E / 43.850528; 7.4733833 at an altitude of 1,018 metres (3,340 ft)[10] controlled Mont-Mulcier and the Col de Cuore, with 32 men assigned. The post consistend of one entry block, one observation block with an observation cloche, and one block with a machine gun port, connected by a gallery with limited accommodations. The avant-poste Pierre-Pontue 43°50′34.33″N 07°28′52.82″E / 43.8428694°N 7.4813389°E / 43.8428694; 7.4813389 to the south at an altitude of 1,122 metres (3,681 ft)[11] was larger, although it too was assigned 32 men. Pierre-Pontue comprised two entry blocks, one observation block with an observation cloche, and two casemates with machine gun ports. A modest set of galleries connected the blocks.[12]

Five observation posts were attached to Castillon, including Mont-Ours-Sud, Baisse-du-Loup and Croix-de-Fossa.[1]

History[edit]

The Italian Modena Division attacked toward Castillon beginning on 22 June 1940 as part of an advance on Sospel, but was unable to advance before the armistice of 25 June.[13] Italian troops attacked the avants-postes at Pierre-Pontue and Scuvion, but were discouraged by fire from Castillon itself on the 22nd. Further action took place the next day around the avants-postes, which were supported by fire from Ouvrage Barbonnet and Ouvrage Mont Agel as well as Castillon.[14]

In 1944, Castillon was a center of German resistance to Operation Dragoon. On 10 September 1944 Castillon was attacked by American troops, supported by land and naval artillery, largely destroying the entry block, which faced toward the guns, and heavily damaging the combat blocks. The French battleship Lorraine participated in the bombardment. Castillon was abandoned by the Germans on 25 October 1944.[15]

Castillon's war damage was repaired in the 1950s as part of a program to restore many of the gros ouvrages to military usefulness against an advance through Italy by the Warsaw Pact.[16] However, by the 1970s nearly all ouvrages were decommissioned and sold. [17] Castillon had already been decommissioned in 1964.[18] The ouvrage is owned by the commune of Castillon, but is presently abandoned.[19]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Mary, Tome 5, p. 65
  2. ^ Mary, Tome 4, p. 29
  3. ^ Puelinckx, Jean; Aublet, Jean-Louis; Mainguin, Sylvie (2010). "Castillon (GO E08 de)". Index de la Ligne Maginot (in French). fortiff.be. Retrieved 26 January 2010. 
  4. ^ Mary, Tome 5, p.65
  5. ^ Puelinckx, Jean; et al. (2010). "Castillon (go du) Bloc 1". Index de la Ligne Maginot (in French). fortiff.be. Retrieved 25 January 2010. 
  6. ^ Puelinckx, Jean; et al. (2010). "Castillon (go du) Bloc 3". Index de la Ligne Maginot (in French). fortiff.be. Retrieved 25 January 2010. 
  7. ^ Puelinckx, Jean; et al. (2010). "Castillon (go du) Bloc 4". Index de la Ligne Maginot (in French). fortiff.be. Retrieved 25 January 2010. 
  8. ^ Puelinckx, Jean; et al. (2010). "Castillon (go du) Bloc 5". Index de la Ligne Maginot (in French). fortiff.be. Retrieved 25 January 2010. 
  9. ^ Puelinckx, Jean; et al. (2010). "Castillon (go du) Bloc 6". Index de la Ligne Maginot (in French). fortiff.be. Retrieved 25 January 2010. 
  10. ^ Puelinckx, Jean; et al. (2010). "Scuvion (AP de la Baisse de)". Index de la Ligne Maginot (in French). fortiff.be. Retrieved 16 February 2010. 
  11. ^ Puelinckx, Jean; et al. (2010). "Pierre Pontue (AP de la)". Index de la Ligne Maginot (in French). fortiff.be. Retrieved 16 February 2010. 
  12. ^ Mary, Tome 5, pp.64-65
  13. ^ Kaufmann 2006, p. 180
  14. ^ Mary, Tome 5, pp. 112-113
  15. ^ Mary, Tome 5, pp.144-145, 156
  16. ^ Mary, Tome 5, pp. 157, 160
  17. ^ Mary, Tome 5, p. 175
  18. ^ Truttman, P.; Faure-Vincent D. (1994). "http://www.patrimoine-de-france.org/oeuvres/richesses-88-25585-169855-M90124-409682.html" (in French). Patrimoine de France. Retrieved 16 February 2010.  External link in |title= (help)
  19. ^ Kaufmann 2011, p. 277

Bibliography[edit]

  • Allcorn, William. The Maginot Line 1928-45. Oxford: Osprey Publishing, 2003. ISBN 1-84176-646-1
  • Kaufmann, J.E. and Kaufmann, H.W. Fortress France: The Maginot Line and French Defenses in World War II, Stackpole Books, 2006. ISBN 0-275-98345-5
  • Kaufmann, J.E., Kaufmann, H.W., Jancovič-Potočnik, A. and Lang, P. The Maginot Line: History and Guide, Pen and Sword, 2011. ISBN 978-1-84884-068-3
  • Mary, Jean-Yves; Hohnadel, Alain; Sicard, Jacques. Hommes et Ouvrages de la Ligne Maginot, Tome 1. Paris, Histoire & Collections, 2001. ISBN 2-908182-88-2 (French)
  • Mary, Jean-Yves; Hohnadel, Alain; Sicard, Jacques. Hommes et Ouvrages de la Ligne Maginot, Tome 4 - La fortification alpine. Paris, Histoire & Collections, 2009. ISBN 978-2-915239-46-1 (French)
  • Mary, Jean-Yves; Hohnadel, Alain; Sicard, Jacques. Hommes et Ouvrages de la Ligne Maginot, Tome 5. Paris, Histoire & Collections, 2009. ISBN 978-2-35250-127-5 (French)

External links[edit]