Work began in May 1935, on the schist spur of TANCREMONT at an altitude of 302 m. The Fort of PEPINSTER (Name of the Fort - HSW) began to be erected. It was inaugurated on 08 August 1937. This future Battery is part of the Regiment of Fortresses of LIEGE, under the command of the III Corps of Army.
The military land covers 45 ha. The structure consists of a central massif with an area of 3.30 ha, including the combat buildings. A ditch (1.20 Ha) surrounds the massif and is defended by four armed flanking chests.
The Fort cost FB 80,000,000 from 1940, or €2.160 billion.
The site is still part of La Défense, and access is still forbidden outside our openings. Flying with drone is strictly forbidden!!
The independent battle blocks, the command post, the technical room, the barracks, the two air intake blocks are connected by galleries, over a total distance of 2500 m at a depth of between 20 and 27 m, to this are added the 1411 steps. Ventilation is done through the air intake (P or O chimney), at the rate of 32000 M³/H. 900 light points are required for lighting.
- 2 x 2 x 75mm FRC cannons under cupola,
- 3 mortars STOCKES-BRANDT of 81mm fortress,
- 4 x 47mm FRC guns, called "4.7",
- 26 MG8-15, Cal 7,65 (Mi)
- 7 Submachine Rifles FN, Cal 7,65 (FM)
- 8 counter aerian machine guns (MiCA)
- Mauser FN 1889/16, GP35, LFP, ...
- the input block (BI),
- two blocks (BII and BIV) with a 75mm dome and protected by two MG bells.
- the block (BIII) with three MG bells,
- mortar block (BM)
- armed safes (CI, CII/CIII, CIV) preventing access to the ditch.
- Outside the massif, block P is wartime access, block O has no access. Both blocks are defended by an MG. These two blocks have the particularity of having an air intake chimney for the constant overpressure in the structure.
- the anti-tank casemates (VESDRE, MONT) are on the periphery, armed with a 4.7 and an MG.
- the OPs, or Observation Posts, are 16, distributed in the operational zone of the fort.
The Fort is powered by four 130 HP CARELS generators, with 7 2M³ fuel oil tanks.
A radio room with an ERM-SBR transceiver and RADIO BELL.
The barracks consists of rooms, a canteen, a kitchen, showers, a wash-house, but also a hospital, treatment room, pharmacy...
Living reserves are stored for 600 people, for a period of one month.
The staff consists in May 40 of:
- 15 Officers, including a surgeon, two doctors and a chaplain.
- 54 NCOs,
- 412 Brigadiers and Soldiers,
- 27 reinforcements of the 3th Engineer Battalion (3 NCOs, 24 Privates),
- 11 telegraphers, (1 NCOs, 9 soldiers)
- 8 nurses.
- Seconded to LIEGE (HM, EM-RFL): 1 Officer, 4 NCOs, 65 Soldiers.
On August 08, 1937, the patron saint of the gunners was inaugurated at the same time as the Fort. It was donated to the Garrison by the 14-18 Veterans of PEPINSTER and THEUX. It is erected on the access leading to the Peacetime barracks.
Since the end of the war, the Elders have moved it to the current location on the edge of N666 to facilitate access during ceremonies.
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