|Fort de Tancrémont|
Construction of the fort started in 1935 and on the 8th of August 1937 it was put into use. The main part of the fort is built on a square central massif and holds all the observation, gun and artillery stations, surrounded by an eight metres wide, six metres deep anti-tank ditch. This ditch is also guarded by bunkers on every corner, each holding a 47mm FRC anti-tankcanon and grenade launchers to stop an armored attack.
Dug deep into the slate massif on a depth of around 30 metres the fort houses a commandpost, dormitories, bathrooms (with showers!), a kitchen, enginerooms, amunition storage, a hospital, a phone office and a radiopost all connected by a tunnel system with a total length of around 2 kilometres. Notable are the integrated MG stands in the tunnels to hold off a possible break in.
On the 29th of May 1940 11:00h, a day and a half after the surrender of the Belgian army, the commander of fort de Tancrémont decides to surrender due to a shortage of ammunition, making it the last Belgian unit to fight the German attackers. In contrast to the quick fall of Fort Eben-Emael, the garrison held their ground for 19 days.
|The peacetime entrance of fort Tancrémont (B1)|
|Painted images of different kinds of artillery grenades - Fort de Tancrémont|
|Detail of the wall painting - Fort de Tancrémont|
|Lifting mechanism of a cupola armed with 75mm gun - Fort de Tancrémont|
|Height indicator of the cupola? - Fort de Tancrémont|
|Doors of an ammunitions elevator at the base of the cupola - Fort de Tancrémont|
|A schematic drawing of the lifting mechanism - Fort de Tancrémont|
|Ammo elevator to one of the cupolas above (30 metres) - Fort de Tancrémont|
|Marked door of an artillery ammunitions depot - Fort de Tancrémont|
|German propaganda posted on a door (Immer noch englische Saboteure) - Fort de Tancrémont|
|Cupola North in a lifted position - Fort de Tancrémont|
|Cupola for MG - Fort de Tancrémont|
|A cupola seen on the inside - Fort de Tancrémont|
|Cupola South (75mm) - Fort de Tancrémont|
|The anti-tank ditch of 8 metres wide - Fort de Tancrémont|
We think fort de Tancrémont is definetly worth a visit. Most people go to nearby Fort Eben-Emael because of the famous story, but in Tancrémont you get a much better sense of how it could have been and you get to see a lot more authentic details. Without a guide you can explore the place on your own, climbing on narrow ladders leading into rusted cupola's, explore neverending staircases and tunnels leading even further down. On the outside there is a lot to be seen too, as you can just walk up to the cupola's and other structures. You can also witness that the fort has had a lot to endure with impact craters of bullets and granades still visible everywhere.
|30 metres down into the ground|
At the end of the tour a friendly volunteer took the box off our hands. Then served us a beer for a euro. We love this place! Cheers!
More informationCheck their website www.fort-de-tancremont.be for more information about openinghours and dates of Fort de Tancrémont. Unfortunately the website is only in Dutch or French. Send us an e-mail if you want some help translating.
Watch the complete Landmarkscout fotoalbum of this trip:
|West Wall okt 2011|