Fort de Liouville
155mm Turret Fort de Liouville Damaged in German Shelling
Entrance of Fort de Liouville
Built 380 meters above the village of Liouville between 1876 and 1878, the fort is situated on the right [east] bank of the Meuse. Its armament was reinforced by two artillery batteries and an annex battery, St. Agnant-sous-les-Cotes.
This fort is part of the defense line between Toul and Verdun, designed by General Sere de Rivieres. It dominates the plain of Woëvre and controls access to valleys [?], the villages of Marbotte and Boncourt, and the roads to St. Mihiel.
From 1878 to 1910 Fort de Liouville experienced numerous upgrades with the installation of external cannons and armored turrets of 75mm and 155mm. At the start of war, three armored observatories and stores under bedrock and against the escarpment were also constructed.
After mobilization it was the only fort of the Hauts-de-Meuse to receive reinforcements and improvements on its original features. In September 1914 the garrison of the fort, commanded by Governor Laugery, had a total of 703 men from the 166th Infantry Regiment and the 5th Regiment of Foot Artillery and some telegraph operators, foresters, and nurses.
Fort CourtyardFrom September 1914, the task of the strengthened fort was to stop, as long as possible, the enemy invasion. On 22 September 1914 the garrison opened fire on German troops of the Fifth Army under corps commander General von Strantz in the sector Varnéville. The next day the same German positions were covered [fired upon?] The German rejoinder was swift. Shells come down on the fort.
Supported by strong Fort Gironville, Fort de Liouville reopend fire on the enemy troops. Until 29 September, the garrison suffered a heavy bombardment and took on much damage. The turret Mangin was even knocked out on 27 September by the German shelling.
Recognizing this, the governor ordered Laugery on 30 September part of the garrison evacuated. Until 16 October 1914, the fort was bombarded. However, the firepower of the German troops and the extensive damage caused to the fort did not stop the French flag flying there throughout the Great War.
|The Fort in October 1914|
Since 1988, the Association for the Preservation of Fort de Liouville undertook the rehabilitation of the site. The association organizes tours of the fort throughout the year.
Association for the Preservation of Fort Liouville (SVBL)
Mayor of Marbotte