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Collapsed WOI observation tower

Observation tower WWI

Collapsed WOI observation tower

At the end of the First World War, an observation tower was built on top of Tête de Raves in the French Vosges.

The Ormont Massif, of which Tête de Raves is part, was overrun by the Germans at the start of the First World War but recaptured by the French army in September 1914. This did not change until the end of the war.

'Qui tent les hauts, tent les bas'

The French enjoyed a crucial strategic advantage: from the almost nine-hundred-meter-high summit, they could watch German movements.

To get an even better view of the valley, the French army built a thirty-meter-high metal observation tower in 1917 or 1918 at the easternmost point of the Ormont massif.

The tripod supported a barrel-shaped observation post. Two observers climbed a ladder between the three pillars of the mast to reach their lookout post.

To protect the observers from enemy artillery, their post was covered by a steel wall and an armored dome that they could slide open and closed.


The observation tower has collapsed today. The tower's metal pylons folded under pressure from the wind and vegetation on the eve of the Second World War.

The observation post fell to the ground during the collapse and lost its dome, now resting next to it.

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