Fort Tavannes, visited in 2001
This day we started with a visit to the ruins of Montfacuon, were the Americans had their biggest lost during the First World War. At this little hill you can find remaining bunkers which the Germans had been using as lookout post during the war. At the picture you can see the ruins of a church situated at the top of the hill. And in front of it you can see a bunker.
After a short visit we went for our main objective of the day, Fort Tavannes. We started with a trip through the moat that surrounds the fort. One of my friends who accompanied me on the trip told me of a story that he heard from an American. This man was stationed in the area during the 1950s and went to discover this fort with a friend. Unfortunately he went in to a hole in the wall were there used to be a machine gun post.When he was on the inside he fell down a big shaft were he disappeared. They looked for him for a time and eventually found him in an underground pool were the the Frenchmen had used to get drinking water from during the war. It seemed that he had been walking around for a time and had fallen into the water and drowned.
After this we went to the fort's interior with help from maps that we found on the Internet. During the war the forts were under fire 24 hours every day, so they started to dig long galleries under the fort to small casemates or pamards with machine-guns.
After a while my two friends decided to wait. But I wanted to find the other side of the casemate. So I continued on my own. On our map it was marked “Pamard” and a question mark. The people who draw the map had not been going all the way to the pamard.
When I reached the point where the map ended I realized why: The roof almost had fallen in. But there was a small hole where I could squeeze myself through. And so I did.
I found my objective, the other side of the gallery. I had the Pamard above me. I could see the sun shining through its loop holes, although the stairs was gone and it was impossible for me climbing up to it.
Being there, alone, where perhaps nobody hade been for ages, was a great feeling