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Fort Douamont

Fort Douamont

Defenseless Fort Douamont

Fort Douamont near Verdun had barely been completed in 1886 or was already obsolete.

The brick construction, parts of which have still been preserved, turned out to be unable to withstand the new generation of shells. Therefore, it was reinforced with concrete until 1913.


Despite the improvements made to the fort, it fell into the hands of the German army almost without a fight at the start of the Battle of Verdun in February 1916. That was also the result of a clever disinformation campaign set up by the Germans, who had heavily highlighted the easy destruction of the Belgian forts.

However, these forts were much more lightly armored and constructed of unreinforced concrete. The French generals fell blindly into the German trap and lost faith in great fortifications, resulting in one of the strongholds around Verdun, the fortress of Douamont, falling in just four days. After months of fighting, the French army recaptured the fort at the end of October 1916.

Crater landscape

The crater landscape atop the fortress bears witness to the countless impacts. In between, two smaller machine gun turrets and a Galopin turret that could house a rapid-fire cannon rear their heads.

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