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Route of Commemoration No.27: The Westwall and the bunker in the Fuhrtsbachtal

The 96 km long hiking trail „Route of Commemorating" was opened in the spring of 2015. The road passes over striking places of war history in the German-Belgian border area via already existing hiking trails in Büllingen, Bütgenbach and Waimes on the Belgian side and the municipalities of Hellental and Monschau in Germany. Along the way, 30 four-lingual info panels explain the historical events surrounding the Ardennes offensive, smuggling, Westwall and many other themes.

Info panel No. 27
On March 7th 1936 the Germans occupied the zone tot he west of the Rhinen that had been demilitarized since World War I. By establishing a border guard during the same year the first "Erdstellingen"(ground posts) were created.
The building of the so-called "Westwall" started in May 1938. It was supposed to serve as national defence line and at the same time as a protected staging area fort he Army.
The construction of the first bunkers between Brüggen and Losheim did not only mean the establisment of staging posts fort he border guard but also the definition of the main front.
On May 28th 1938 Hitler gave the order to accelerate the extention of the west fortification. All new bunker positions between Viersen and the Swiss border were supposed tob e completed before the attack of Czechoslovakia, but this did not happen. In January 1939 came the order to build new an significantly more massive bunker types between Aachen and Losheim. When work was stopped on the Westwall in 1940, 802 of theses new bunker types had been built already. The bunker in the Fuhrtsbachtal is one of them and has been used for many years after the war in order to blow up ammunition.

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  • Text: TracesOfWar
  • Photos: Hans Tasma