Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Local History around the Siegfried Line (1)

This weekend, I was around my hometown, Landau, again. In one of this years posts, I told you of the old Vauban fortifications, that were built to fortify a french bridgehead.
Not only then, Landau and the surrounding planes were of strategic importance. It's not for nothing that Landau was called the gate to france/germany (depending on which side of the border you were standing)...

Lately I aquired a book named "Damit es nicht vergessen wird..." ("Lest we forget...") which describes the southern Rhineland during the times of the Nazi-Reign. I will try to blog about what I read in this book now and then. In addition, I will try to visit some places that are quite interesting to history-aware people.

Near Landau was one of the most fortified Westwall (aka. Siegfried Line) sections (The Oberotterbach-Abschnitt). When I was younger, we often played near the remains of these fortifications in a village next to Frankweiler (see below) which was in the third defense-line. The defense-lines are being represented by the short lines on the map below. Btw: "Reichsgrenze" means "Border of the Reich". Below is France ;)

This weekend, I visited Mörzheim, a small village directly at the second defense line. Mörzheim features a quite long section of still intact Höckerlinie (aka. Dragon's teeth) tank traps. Local winegrowers united and preserved this relict. They have put up the following plate:

It reads:
As a reaction to the french Maginot defensive line, which was built between 1929 and 1932, from 1934 on the "Westwall" was being planned.
It was erected in the years between 1938 and 1940, whereby Mörzheim was in the second defensive line.
On plain ground, so called Höckerlinien were built in front of the bunker-fortifacations to prevent armoured vehicles from passing by.
Around Mörzheim there were 15 Bunkers and a Höckerlinie with a total length of 840m. From 1962 on, the  facility was partly blown up. The construction management was situated with the Organisation Todt (=OT), which employed around 500.000 people at max.

These are some pictures that I took around this site:

As you can see, the teeth were interconnected by concrete lines.

Looking from the "Feindseite" (enemies side).

 The biggest Teeth are approx. 150 cm high

A good view on how the teeth "grow"

Monolithic, Baby! 

Bildunterschrift hinzufügen
Most of the pyramids still have these steelrings which were used to attach a thick barbed-wire-entanglement.

 Dusk at the Siegfried Line..

Of course, not the whole 840m of Dragon teeths line are maintained. 

In many places, nature takes back what once belonged to her. 
The nice thing is, the government recently stopped to blow up all this historical stuff.
The Höckerlinien now serve as green biotope-belts.
Isn't that a nice twist? 

Oh, and last but not least, I'd like to welcome my new followers
who joined my blog despite the long inactivity concerning modelling and history!
It's nice to have you around!
Cheers, Mojo

1 comment:

Thanks for commenting! You make me glad :)