Ouvrage Schoenenbourg

Ouvrage Schoenenbourg is a Maginot Line fortification. It is located on the territory of the communes of Hunspach, Schœnenbourg and Ingolsheim, in the French Département of Bas-Rhin, forming part of the Fortified Sector of Haguenau, facing Germany. At the east end of the Alsace portion of the Maginot Line, its neighbor is the Gros Ouvrage Hochwald. It is the largest such fortification open to the public in Alsace. Officially recorded as an historical monument, it retains all its original structural elements. Schoenenbourg was heavily bombarded during the Battle of France in 1940, receiving more enemy ordnance than any other position in France, with no significant damage. In 1945, retreating German troops used explosives to destroy much of the Ouvrage. After the war it was fully repaired and placed back into service as part of a program to use Maginot fortifications to resist a potential Warsaw Pact advance through Europe. By the 1970s the plan had lost favor and funding, and Schoenenboug was abandoned. In 1987 a local organization undertook Schoenenbourg’s preservation, and today it is open to public visitation.

The 1939 manning of the Ouvrage under the command of Commandant Reynier comprised 491 men and 17 officers of the 22nd Fortress Infantry Regiment and the 156th Position Artillery Regiment. The units were under the umbrella of the 5th Army, Army Group 2. Interval troops covering the areas between and outside the fortifications were assigned to the 16th and 70th Infantry Divisions, 12th Corps. The nearby Casernement de Drachenbronn provided peacetime above-ground barracks and support services to Schoenenbourg and other positions in the area.

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