Gros Ouvrage Molvange

Gros Ouvrage Molvange is one of the many large forts of the Maginot Line, 1.75 Km long and built at a depth of 30 metres. Molvange has one entrance for ammunition and another for personnel. There are ten fighting blocks armed with anything from 7.5mm MAC 31 machine guns up to a 135mm gun. Molvange has three 75mm guns, one 81mm mortar and one 135mm gun. The fighting blocks were supplied by a 60cm narrow gauge railway from the M1 magazine. Molvange saw no action during the invasion of France in World War Two but, the fort was upgraded for use during the Cold War. The plan was that the Maginot forts would slow or halt a Warsaw Pact invasion. After France developed its own nuclear deterrent, the relevance of the forts was called into question. As a result, Rochonvillers, Molvange and Soetrich were placed at NATO's disposal. Rochonvillers became the wartime headquarters for the 4th Allied Tactical Air Force (4ATAF) with Molvange acting as a satellite. Following France's withdrawal from NATO, Molvange became defunct in 1967, and the headquarters of 4ATAF moved to Kindsbach in Germany.