It is one of the best preserved fortifications from the World War I

A tour of Fort de Mutzig, a former German military position in France

Germany and France faced each other in the two world wars of the 20th century, but the rivalry between the two went back a long way.

Zone Rouge: the territory of France that still suffers the effects of the World War I
Fort Musil: one of the fortresses of the largest naval base of the Austro-Hungarian Empire

During the Napoleonic Wars (1803-1815), the French Empire was confronted with the Kingdom of Prussia and other territories of what would end up being the German Empire in 1871, after a harsh conflict, the Franco-Prussian War (1870-1871), which broke out, curiously, due to a struggle between France and Prussia for the succession to the throne of the Kingdom of Spain, due to the French fear of a rapprochement between it and the Prussian kingdom. This war ended with a humiliating defeat for France, after a siege of several months that culminated in the German capture of Paris.

Thanks to that war, the German Empire took over the French region of Alsace-Lorraine, whose capital is the city of Strasbourg, today one of the two seats (with Brussels) of the European Parliament. The end of the war only fueled the rivalry between both countries, which began to prepare for a possible new war.

In 1893 Germany fortified Strasbourg with a network of forts called Feste Kaiser Wilhelm II, also known as Fort Mutzig. It was a very modern fort for its time, since its western half was built with concrete, more resistant to artillery than the masonry used until then in this type of fortifications.

Fort de Mutzig was armed with 8 150 mm howitzers, 14 105 mm cannons and around twenty smaller caliber pieces. It had an area of 254 hectares and a garrison of 6,500 soldiers.

This fortification remained in the hands of Germany during the First World War, hardly seeing any combat, being formally handed over to France in 1919 along with the rest of Alsace-Lorraine.

Both the region and Fort Muzig were occupied again by Germany in World War II, returning to French hands in 1945. The French Army continued to use Fort Muzig as a military position until the 1940s. 1960.

In 1984, a Franco-German association began restoration work on the Fort de Mutzig, which had been abandoned for many years. This association grew until it had 80 volunteers, who today continue to be in charge of preserving this old military position.

In 1995 Fort Muzig was reopened as a museum. It is perhaps the best preserved fortification from the time of the First World War, it even has many of its original artillery pieces.

You can get more information about that fascinating museum on its website: fort- (it is in German, French and English). There they explain how the association that has led to the recovery of this historic place came about.

A few days ago, the YouTube channel Yeah Probably published an interesting video showing the interior and exterior of this fortification:


Photos: Feste Kaiser Wilhelm II.

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