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Adrian Wheeler

Concrete shelters near Duzey, Verdun

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Adrian Wheeler

I wonder if anyone can identify a group of concrete structures in a farmer's field near Duzey, north-east of Verdun? There's an illustration in Pierre's Photo Impressions; he calls them artillery shelters, but I can't find any reference to German artillery of 1916 which had the range (apart from the naval gun at Duzey). Nor can I find any reference to these structures in the literature or online. Any information or ideas would be very much appreciated.

 

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mebu

If you visit the French site Forum 14-18 and search Duzey you should find info on the battery there. There have been a number of discussions.

Peter

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healdav

Do you have a photo? There are three long range guns in the woods and fields near Spincourt. Are these what you mean?

These guns were each 380 cm, and could reach Verdun; and did. They are each a different design. I have never been in the fields to look at that gun (the farmer is a bit strange to put it mildly), but while one of the others is lost in the forest, the third is clearly signposted from the main road. The whole thing is there, pit, tunnels for ammunition, etc, together with a signboard, and the last time I was there, a 12 inch Naval gun had been left by the pit, with no explanation.

But, if you can give a photo, I will be able to identify which gun you are talking about, with details.

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Adrian Wheeler

Thank you very much. The shelters are at a separate site, not far from Duzey. They stand isolated on farmland, with no signs or explanations. I do not have my own photograph, but there are a couple in the Verdun section of Pierre's Photo Impressions, where he describes them as artillery shelters. This is certainly what they look like - but, if so, which artillery?

 

Thank you for taking an interest.

 

Adrian Wheeler

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healdav
22 hours ago, Adrian Wheeler said:

Thank you very much. The shelters are at a separate site, not far from Duzey. They stand isolated on farmland, with no signs or explanations. I do not have my own photograph, but there are a couple in the Verdun section of Pierre's Photo Impressions, where he describes them as artillery shelters. This is certainly what they look like - but, if so, which artillery?

 

Thank you for taking an interest.

 

Adrian Wheeler

I don't have the book? you mention, but what you say is illustrated is in the right place for the gun site I have never been to. As far as I can recall this was a 380 mm naval gun, with a range of Verdun town centre +. The signposted site at the back of Spincourt was of the same type and the site is now a national monument site with a lot of information boards, etc.

Both these guns had a field of fire of about 300 degrees (certainly over 180 degrees), but they probably only fired over a 40 or 50 degree arc. The third was of a different type and is now in the edge of the forest, and you have to cross a field to get there. It was in a shelter, and had a quite restricted arc of fire, and couldn't raise the barrel too much either.

If you google for Spincourt I think you will find plenty of info abut all the guns.

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SteveMarsdin

Hi,

 

Is it this type of structure:

 

IMG_2836.JPG.e2a6e6d6fe68c48139615648c5f801c8.JPG

 

If so, I think the railway lines to feed the German attack went over them, the embankments either side having been ploughed away since.

 

Steve

IMG_2835.JPG

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healdav
28 minutes ago, SteveMarsdin said:

Hi,

 

Is it this type of structure:

 

IMG_2836.JPG.e2a6e6d6fe68c48139615648c5f801c8.JPG

 

If so, I think the railway lines to feed the German attack went over them, the embankments either side having been ploughed away since.

 

Steve

IMG_2835.JPG

Steve,

I think this shelter may well be associated with the guns, but I'm not sure; if so, they were where the ammunition was readied for use (fusing, and so on). If you go to Spincourt, there are two tunnels like this, but just underground. There, you can just about walk through (flooding) and see where the shells would have been fused.

The other one was a tunnel under the railway. I was told that the railway was built by the French military, but I can't be sure about that. It baffles me why anyone would have put in the tunnel as the ground all around, as you can see in the picture, is completely flat. It would have needed enormous embankments to serve absolutely no purpose at all.

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AOK4

At least we have a picture now. If someone could now also show a map where these things can be found exactly, we can check some maps etc.

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AOK4

As there were (and are) a lot of Maginot Line bunkers in the area, can it be related to these fortifications?

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SteveMarsdin

Hi,

 

Dave, yes, I think probably they were ,multi-use as they look over-engineered just to support railway track. They are definitely on the route of the old railway though, see below

 

They're just south of Moraigne:

 

Moraigne.JPG.e05d7107d8fc32b1eb2d4f66f8246646.JPG

Here are 2 more photos; in the second you can see a bridge over what once was the railway, between the buildingsIMG_2832.JPG.1c95309c71a50972b54aa9e8a3bd8bdd.JPGIMG_2834.thumb.JPG.16200ae00e49d8aaba61e59b8e4b10b1.JPG

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AOK4

Hello,

 

They are just disused railway bridges and are visible on maps and aerial pics from 1950-1965 (on geoportail). I would doubt that they date from 1914-1918... I'll try to find some maps from that time.

 

Jan

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