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Ouvrage Sentzich

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Built  1933
In use  Abandoned
Controlled by  France
Built by  CORF
Opened  1933
Ouvrage Sentzich httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommonsthu

Materials  Concrete, steel, deep excavation
Battles/wars  Battle of France, Lorraine Campaign
Similar  Ouvrage Oberheid, Ouvrage Bois‑Karre, Ouvrage Kobenbusch, Ouvrage Galgenberg, Ouvrage Téting

Ouvrage Sentzich is part of the Fortified Sector of Thionville of the Maginot Line. The petit ouvrage for infantry is located to the south of gros ouvrage Galgenberg, on the edge of the main road to Luxembourg near the village of Sentzich. Gros ouvrage Métrich is to the east. As a small work it was not considered for use after World War II and was abandoned. It is secured, but is not open to the public.

Contents

Design and construction

The Sentzich site was approved by CORF (Commission d'Organisation des Régions Fortifiées), the Maginot Line's design and construction agency, in February 1930 and construction by contractor Verdun-Fortifications started the same year. The construction cost was 7.5 million francs.

Description

The single infantry block possessed two firing chambers and one machine gun turret. The north chamber was equipped for a machine gun/37mm anti-tank gun combination (JM/AC37), and was surmounted by an automatic rifle cloche (GFM). The south firing chamber was equipped similarly. The usine was equipped with two Baudouin motors, of 36 horsepower (27 kW) each.

Casemates and shelters

The Blockhaus de Sentzich is immediately to the south of the main ouvrage on the other side of the Sentzich village. The blockhouse was armed with a JM/AC47 embrasure.

Manning

The ouvrage was manned by 66 men of the 168th Fortress Infantry Regiment, under the command of Lieutenant Legrand. The Casernement de Cattenom provided peacetime above-ground barracks and support services to Sentzich and other ouvrages in the area.

History

See Fortified Sector of Thionville for a broader discussion of the events of 1940 in the Thionville sector of the Maginot Line.

Sentzich, closely associated with Galgenberg, did not see significant action in the Battle of France in 1940, nor in the Lorraine Campaign of 1944. The Germans largely bypassed the area, advancing along the valley of the Meuse and Saar rivers, threatening the rear of the Thionville sector. An order to fortress troops by sector commander Colonel Jean-Patrice O'Sullivan to prepare for withdrawal on 17 June was reversed by O'Sullivan. The garrison therefore remained in place. Following negotiations, the positions on the left bank of the Moselle finally surrendered to the Germans on 30 June 1940. While a number of the larger ouvrages in the Thionville sector were renovated immediately after World War II for duty in the Cold War, Sentzich was not re-armed. It remained secured, owing to its position next to Galgenberg, which was used as a communications facility

Current condition

The ouvrage is owned and maintained by the commune of Cattenom. It is not presently accessible to the public.

References

Ouvrage Sentzich Wikipedia