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Fort Oelegem - Belgium
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member naj16
N 51° 13.498 E 004° 36.852
31U E 612715 N 5676080
Quick Description: Historic fort, part of "Stelling van Antwerpen"
Location: Antwerpen, Belgium
Date Posted: 6/4/2014 11:54:05 AM
Waymark Code: WMKWRG
Published By: Groundspeak Charter Member briansnat
Views: 2

Long Description:
At the outbreak of war in 1914, the Germans first attacked the forts at Liege. The Germans were equipped with 30.5 cm (Austrian lent Skoda Motor Mörser; range 9.6 kilometers) and 42 cm (the Big Bertha, range 10 km) caliber guns, with shells respectively 380 kg and 1000 kg. These were able to destroy the fortresses of non-reinforced concrete. They could be deployed while outside the reach of the Belgian artillery.
On August 15, 1914, Fort Loncin was destroyed by a German hit in the ammunition depot. 350 men were killed immediately, and half of the fort was destroyed. Still today, the bodies of these men remain buried in the remainder of the fort.
After taking the defence line around Liege, the Germans marched westward, and on September 4 the first shells were aimed at the axis Walem-Breendonk. Then for a couple of weeks the Germans concentrated on the front in France. On September 22, the attack on the defence of Antwerp was renewed, but now on Walem-Lier with the intention to break the fort ring and capturing Antwerp. On August 30, the German heavy artillery destroyed Forts Walem, Sint Katelijne Waver and Koningshooikt. On October 2, Fort Lier suffered the same fate. Fort Kessel then fell on October 4. On October 5, the bombardment of Fort Broechem and Fort Oelegem started. On October 6, Fort Broechem was put out of action. The position of Antwerp then became untenable.
On October 9, the Belgian Army abandoned the right bank of the river Schelde, but first Forts Schoten, Brasschaat, Merksem, Kapellen, Lillo were blown up. On October 10 the army abandoned the left bank of the Scheldt as well and retreated on the Yser line. In total the Germans fired 590 rounds of 42 cm shells and 2130 shells of 30.5 cm onto the forts. The forts could offer only slight resistance to an enemy who destroyed them from a distance. Still their role must not be underestimated, as the forts enabled the Belgian Army to escape defeat and retreat to the Yser in the Westhoek.
The year the "Fort" was constructed or started.: 1906

Name of "Country" or "Nation" that constructed this "Fort": Belgium

Was this "Fort" involved in any armed conflicts?: Yes it was

What was the primary purpose of this "Historic Fort"?: Used for defence of a border or land claim.

Current condition: moderate

This site is administered by ----: Werkgroep Fort Oelegem (WGFO)van Natuur2000.

If admission is charged -: 0.00 (listed in local currency)

Open to the public?: Restricted or by appointment only.

Official or advertised web-page: [Web Link]

Link to web-site that best describes this "Historic Fort": [Web Link]

Link if this "Fort" is registered on your Countries/ State "Registry of Historical Sites or Buildi: Not listed

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