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Gros Ouvrage Mont des Welches

At only 200 metres long and with only five fighting blocks and no M1 magazine, Mont des Welches is a very small Gros Ouvrage. Despite its size, it packed more firepower per square metre than most. Mont des Welches could direct fire from; four 75mm guns, four 81mm mortars, four 25mm anti-tank guns, a grenade launcher and 29 machine guns. Mont des Welches came under German attack on 21 June 1940. The Germans attacked blocks 2 and 3 using the famous 8.8cm Flak guns, but fire from the entry block hindered the assault. Blocks 2 and 4 knocked out the German battery with the help of fire support from Gros Ouvrage Hackenberg. Post-war, Mont des Welches was upgraded for a Cold War role, to stop a Warsaw Pact invasion of France. By the time the French Nuclear deterrent was operational, support for the Maginot forts had wanned. Despite this, Mont des Welches remaining in use by the French Army until it was mothballed in 1971.