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Maginot Line - Fortress Villy-La-Ferté

This Maginot fortress was a component of the Secteur Fortifié de Montmédy.The garrison consisted of 104 soldiers and 3 officers of the 155e RIF.

Between 15 and 19 May 1940, fortress Villy-La-Ferté was a place of fierce fightings. An intense artillery bombardment was launched by the Germans on 18 May. After a failed French counter-attack and the destruction of Block 1 & 2, the garrison was forced to retreat into the connection hallway. They were found dead on 2 June in this hallway by German soldiers, killed by a combination of poison gas and a broken ventilation system.

The fort today:
There is now a visitor center, which is freely accessible. The garrison of Villy-La-Ferté is buried at the national cemetery of Villy.

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  • Text: Kaj Metz
  • Photos: Bas Sjoerts (1), Kaj Metz (2, 3, 4, 5)

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