Ouvrage Kobenbusch

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Ouvrage Kobenbusch
Part of Maginot Line
Northeast France
Go-kobenbusch-em-2004-03-14.jpg
Ammunition entrance
Ouvrage Kobenbusch is located in France
Ouvrage Kobenbusch
Ouvrage Kobenbusch
Coordinates 49°26′02″N 6°14′17″E / 49.43382°N 6.23796°E / 49.43382; 6.23796
Site information
Controlled by France
Open to
the public
Surface only
Condition Flooded
Site history
Built by CORF
Materials Concrete, steel, deep excavation
Battles/wars Battle of France, Lorraine Campaign
Ouvrage Kobenbusch
Type of work: Large artillery work (Gros ouvrage)
sector
└─sub-sector
Fortified Sector of Thionville
└─Hettange-Grande
Work number: A13
Regiment: 169th Fortress Infantry Regiment (RIF), 151st Position Artillery Regiment (RAP)
Number of blocks: 9
Strength: 14 officers, 513 men

Ouvrage Kobenbusch is a gros ouvrage of the Maginot Line, located in the Fortified Sector of Thionville in the Cattenom forest. It possesses seven combat blocks and two entrance blocks, one for ammunition and the other for men. It is located between petit ouvrage Bois-Karre and petit ouvrage Oberheid, and was named for the surrounding Kobenbusch forest. The position saw little action during World War II. Its deep passages have been flooded by the construction of a cooling water lake for a nearby nuclear power plant, but its surface features are being developed with an interpretive path through the surrounding forest.

Design and construction[edit]

The Kobenbusch position forms the point of the Cattenom salient, where the east-west defensive line turns to the south.[1] The site was surveyed by CORF (Commission d'Organisation des Régions Fortifiées), the Maginot Line's design and construction agency, in 1930. Work by the contractor Verdun-Fortifications began in 1931,[2] and the position became operational in 1935,[3] at a cost of 65 million francs.[4][5] Kobenbusch was served by a 60cm-gauge narrow-gauge railway, which enters at the munitions entrance and runs all the way out through the galleries to the combat blocks. On the surface, the railway connects to supply points to the rear and to other ouvrages.[nb 1]

Description[edit]

Kobenbusch is a relatively compact gros ouvrage, with a short main gallery leading in from the munitions and personnel entrances past to underground barracks to the combat blocks. Unusually for a gros ouvrage, it possesses no "M1" main ammunition magazine.[2]

Block 2, embrasures and the diamant ditch

.

Casemates and shelters[edit]

The Abri du Bois-de-Cattenom[nb 2] is nearby to the west, and may be visited.[18] There are no other casemates, observation points or shelters associated with Kobenbusch, although the petit ouvrage Oberheid is close at hand on the east.[2]

Manning[edit]

The manning of the ouvrage in 1940 comprised 513 men and 14 officers of the 169th Fortress Infantry Regiment and the 151st Position Artillery Regiment. The units were under the umbrella of the 42nd Fortress Corps of the 3rd Army, Army Group 2.[19] The commandant de l'ouvrage in 1940 was Commandant Charnal.[2] The Casernement de Cattenom provided peacetime above-ground barracks and support services to Kobenbusch and other ouvrages in the area.[20]

History[edit]

See Fortified Sector of Thionville for a broader discussion of the events of 1940 in the Thionville sector of the Maginot Line.

Kobenbusch did not see significant action in the Battle of France in 1940, nor in the Lorraine Campaign of 1944. Kobenbusch provided suppressing fire against German infiltrators on the surface of Oberheid. About the same time, a party of Germans infiltrated the area of Kobenbusch Block 5.[21] The Germans largely bypassed the area, advancing along the valley of the Meuse and Saar rivers, threatening the rear of the Thionville sector. An order to fortress troops by sector commander Colonel Jean-Patrice O'Sullivan to prepare for withdrawal on 17 June was reversed by O'Sullivan.[22] The garrison therefore remained in place. Following negotiations, the positions on the left bank of the Moselle finally surrendered to the Germans on 30 June, 1940.[23]

Present status[edit]

While the entry and combat blocks remain visible, the underground galleries, barracks, ammunition magazine and utility areas, which lie at an average depth of 30 meters (98 ft) below the surface,[24] have been flooded by the cooling water lake of the nearby Cattenom Nuclear Power Plant. The site is maintained by the Association Ligne Maginot du Secteur Fortifié du Bois de Cattenom, which manages Bois Karre, the Abri du Bois de Cattenom, Ouvrage Sentzich and Ouvrage Galgenberg. A pedestrian path through the surface installation is under development, and the Abri du Bois de Cattenom may be visited at times.[18][25]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ English-language sources use the French term ouvrage as the preferred term for the Maginot positions, in preference to "fort", a term usually reserved for older fortifications with passive defensives in the form of walls and ditches.[6] The literal translation of ouvrage in the sense of a fortification in English is "work." A gros ouvrage is a large fortification with a significant artillery component, while a petit ouvrage is smaller, with lighter arms.[7]
  2. ^ An abri is an infantry shelter, sometimes underground or under earth cover. An abri in the main Maginot Line often closely resembles a casemate, but is more lightly armed and can hold more occupants.[17]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Kobenbusch" (in French). Association Ligne Maginot du Secteur Fortifié du Bois de Cattenom. 2009. Retrieved 11 March 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c d Mary, Tome 3, p. 94
  3. ^ Kaufmann 2006, p. 25
  4. ^ Wahl, J.B. "Infanteriewerk (P.O.) Immerhof — A10" (in German). darkplaces.org. Retrieved 11 March 2010. 
  5. ^ Mary, Tome 1, p. 52
  6. ^ Kaufmann 2006, p.13
  7. ^ Kaufmann 2006, p. 20
  8. ^ Puelinckx, Jean; Aublet, Jean-Louis; Mainguin, Sylvie (2010). "Kobenbusch (go A13 du) Entrée Munitions". Index de la Ligne Maginot (in French). fortiff.be. Retrieved 11 March 2010. 
  9. ^ Puelinckx, Jean et al. (2010). "Kobenbusch (go A13 du) Entrée Munitions". Index de la Ligne Maginot (in French). fortiff.be. Retrieved 11 March 2010. 
  10. ^ Puelinckx, Jean et al. (2010). "Kobenbusch (go A13 du) Bloc 1". Index de la Ligne Maginot (in French). fortiff.be. Retrieved 11 March 2010. 
  11. ^ Puelinckx, Jean et al. (2010). "Kobenbusch (go A13 du) Bloc 2". Index de la Ligne Maginot (in French). fortiff.be. Retrieved 11 March 2010. 
  12. ^ Puelinckx, Jean et al. (2010). "Kobenbusch (go A13 du) Bloc 3". Index de la Ligne Maginot (in French). fortiff.be. Retrieved 11 March 2010. 
  13. ^ Puelinckx, Jean et al. (2010). "Kobenbusch (go A13 du) Bloc 4". Index de la Ligne Maginot (in French). fortiff.be. Retrieved 11 March 2010. 
  14. ^ Puelinckx, Jean et al. (2010). "Kobenbusch (go A13 du) Bloc 5". Index de la Ligne Maginot (in French). fortiff.be. Retrieved 11 March 2010. 
  15. ^ Puelinckx, Jean et al. (2010). "Kobenbusch (go A13 du) Bloc 6". Index de la Ligne Maginot (in French). fortiff.be. Retrieved 11 March 2010. 
  16. ^ Puelinckx, Jean et al. (2010). "Kobenbusch (go A13 du) Bloc 7". Index de la Ligne Maginot (in French). fortiff.be. Retrieved 11 March 2010. 
  17. ^ Kaufmann 2006, p. 14
  18. ^ a b Kaufmann 2011, p. 221
  19. ^ Mary, Tome 3, p. 79
  20. ^ Wahl, J.B. "Festungsabschnitt Thionville" (in German). darkplaces.org. Retrieved 3 May 2010. 
  21. ^ Mary, Tome 5, p. 208
  22. ^ Kauffmann 2006, pp. 168-169
  23. ^ Mary, Tome 5, p. 230
  24. ^ Mary, Tome 2, p. 35
  25. ^ "Kobenbusch" (in French). Association Ligne Maginot du Secteur Fortifié du Bois de Cattenom. 2009. Retrieved 11 March 2010. 

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 2. Paris, Histoire & Collections, 2003. ISBN 2-908182-97-1 (French)
  • Mary, Jean-Yves; Hohnadel, Alain; Sicard, Jacques. Hommes et Ouvrages de la Ligne Maginot, Tome 3. Paris, Histoire & Collections, 2003. ISBN 2-913903-88-6 (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]