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Tête des Faux battlefield

Tête des Faux battlefield

First World War relics on the battlefield of Tête des Faux

Tête des Faux is a 1208-meter-high mountain in the French Vosges, and its large stature also explains the strategic role it played during the First World War.

Ever since the First World War broke out, the French and German armies tried to conquer the mountain with its panoramic view of the surrounding villages and roads.

Col de Bonhomme

From the flanks of Tête des Faux, German soldiers bombarded the Bonhomme mountain pass, to this day one of the most critical roads crossing the Vosges. A French camp, among others, was shot to pieces, but on Christmas Eve 1914, the fighting reached a climax. Then, the Germans launched an attack on the French lines, but they were pushed back.

Seven hundred French and German soldiers didn't survive the atrocities. Throughout the war, French and German soldiers continued to fire on each other at Tête des Faux. However, the summit remained in the hands of the French army throughout the war.

German casualties

Near the Etang du Devin, the German lieutenant Kahm ordered the construction of a terraced cemetery to bury the fallen soldiers. Their bodies were later reburied at the German military cemetery Hohrad.

However, the walls, stairs and some memorial stones were preserved here. The cemetery could easily be expanded because a wall at the back was missing.

Engine room

The top of the Tête des Faux remained in French hands, but that did not stop the German army from equipping their side of the mountain flank with bunkers, underground tunnels and other infrastructure. For example, they built a pumping station for water supply. The pump building also housed a generator for power production.

Cable car

Hundreds of meters higher, on top of the Roche du Corbeau, a cable car was built to ensure the troops were supplied. The station rested under a thick concrete slab. Soldiers, ammunition and supplies could be taken to the top of Tête des Faux via a (now closed) tunnel at the back of the cable car station.


The eastern end of the summit of Tête des Faux, Buchenkopf in German, was crowned with a fortress by the Germans.

Barbed wire

Barbed wire and chevaux de frise are still lying around on all sides. That should not be surprising: French soldiers were only mere meters away. However, little of their fortifications have been preserved since they mainly used wooden materials here.

One of the few remains is the rails the army used to strengthen roofs.


Finally, there is also a monument that commemorates four 'chasseurs Alpins', or elite French soldiers who specialized in fighting in mountainous terrain. The four died on July 6, 1916, during a fight with their German counterparts.

The battlefield of Tête des Faux was protected as a monument as early as 1932. The entire mountainside is still littered with larger and smaller traces of German buildings, trenches and cemeteries.

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