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Pillbox Advanced Position Sippenaeken

At Rue de Beusdael, near Sippenaeken, a small bunker is situated. Together with two other similar bunkers, it formed the advanced position Beusdael. One of the two other bunkers (this one) is situated in de field in the direction southwest, visible from Rue de Beusdael. The other bunker is situated in the forest, northwest from the bunker at Rue de Beusdael, covered in the forest.

The Belgian defence in 1940 against a German attacks consists of five position lines

- The alarm position line, which consisted of border posts, from where an attack had to be reported. Such positions were manned by the national police and units of the advanced positions
- The advanced position line, which consisted of non-permanent positions, mainly used to slow down a first attack. From here destructions of infrastructure and obstructions were organised.
- The covered position line was the first real defence line, from the anti-tank ditch near Antwerp, along the Albert Canal, the river Maas as far as Namur. This line was manned by 14 Belgian divisions. Besides the fortresses near Antwerp, Liège and Namur the line wasn’t very strong as far as it concerned fortification.
- The [bresistance position line, also known as KW-stelling or KW position line, was the first main defence line, consisting of bunkers, tank barriers and anti-tank ditches. It went from Fort Koningshooikt near Antwerp, via Leuven, Waver, Gembloers as far as the fortress of Namur. In case of a German attack, the French armies and the British Expeditionary Force would move as far as this defence line.
- Interior position line was in fact several defence lines which consisted of old fortifications around the Flemish main cities. It accommodated the main services. Due to the connections with harbours supplies and fuel were guaranteed.

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  • Text: Kees Boks
  • Photos: Fedor de Vries