National Redoubt (Belgium)

From Wikipedia for FEVERv2
Jump to navigation Jump to search

For the fortifications near Lake Constance, see National Redoubt (Switzerland). National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_0

For the fortifications around Amsterdam, see Stelling van Amsterdam. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_1

The National Redoubt (French: Réduit national, Dutch: Nationaal Reduit) was a strategic defensive belt of fortifications built in Belgium. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_2

The National redoubt was the infrastructural cornerstone of Belgian defensive strategy from 1890–1940. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_3

The following fortifications and defensive constructions were an integral part of the National redoubt: National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_4

National Redoubt (Belgium)_unordered_list_0

  • the Fortified Position of Liège (Luik) with a number of fortsNational Redoubt (Belgium)_item_0_0
  • the Fortified Position of Namur (Namen) with a number of fortsNational Redoubt (Belgium)_item_0_1
  • the fortification at Eben EmaelNational Redoubt (Belgium)_item_0_2
  • the KW line: a "canal" from Koningshooikt to Wavre, to defend against tank incursionsNational Redoubt (Belgium)_item_0_3
  • another anti-tank canal in the Kempen, roughly aligned with the outer ring of fortifications around AntwerpenNational Redoubt (Belgium)_item_0_4
  • the coastal defenses as a retreat position against invasion troopsNational Redoubt (Belgium)_item_0_5

The most important part of the national redoubt was a double ring of defensive forts around the city and port of Antwerp. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_5

The National Redoubt was a 95 km (59 mi)-long belt of fortifications built from 1859 to 1914, as the strongest defensive position of Belgium in case of invasion. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_6

Background National Redoubt (Belgium)_section_0

Until the autonomy of Belgium in 1830 the defence of Antwerp consisted of the citadel and the Spanish city walls near the current De Leien (Italiëlei, Frankrijklei, Britselei, Amerikalei) bounded on the south by the Zuidkasteel (just north of the current Palace of Justice) and bounded on the north side by the Noorderfort, around the area of the current Kattendijkdok. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_7

The forts Liefkenshoek, De Perel, St. Marie and St. Philip were built during the Eighty Years War in 1584 by the Duke of Parma (Alexander Farnese) to block the supply of (the Hollanders in) Antwerp. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_8

These forts were in the bend of the river Scheldt in Kallo. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_9

Independent Belgium National Redoubt (Belgium)_section_1

From 1830 to the mid-19th century, the defence of Belgium consisted of twenty fortified cities (called Wellington Barrier), which were to form a defence against France. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_10

The defence of Antwerp was also aimed at the river Scheldt. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_11

This function was fulfilled by the forts De Perel, Burcht, Isabella, Saint Marie. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_12

The Scheldt defence was complemented by the development of the Vlaams Hoofd Fort, west of the current terminus of the St. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_13 Anna Tunnel. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_14

Act of 1851 National Redoubt (Belgium)_section_2

Halfway through the 19th century after the emergence of Napoleon III in 1851, it was clear that the Belgian army did not have the capability to resist an attack from France. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_15

It was necessary to centralise defences and so a ring of fortresses around Antwerp, forten 1-7, were originally built as earthen ramparts but later reinforced by stone structures. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_16

Act of September 8, 1859 National Redoubt (Belgium)_section_3

In the mid-19th century, the concept of defence was changed, because a full defence of Belgium was not considered feasible. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_17

Antwerp was the most appropriate as the last stronghold (réduit national) until the aid of allies could arrive. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_18

The choice of Antwerp was motivated by its good supply and defence possibilities. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_19

The National Reduit (Act of September 8, 1859) would consist of: 1° a siege wall, 2° a circle of fortresses and 3° inundations. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_20

The fort circle would consist of eight Brialmont forts (named after the architect of the forts H.A. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_21 Brialmont) in an 18 km long circle from Wijnegem to Hoboken. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_22

The forts were built from 1859 to 1864. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_23

Act of 1870 National Redoubt (Belgium)_section_4

The Franco-Prussian War in 1870 showed that the German artillery could bombard Paris from a distance of 7 km. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_24

The circle of Brialmont forts was thus too close to the city centre. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_25

Initially, it was decided to build the forts Merksem, Zwijndrecht, and Kruibeke. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_26

In addition, the Scheldt Defence was extended with the forts St. Philip and De Perel (both rebuilt). National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_27

They were small oblong armored fortresses, against enemy warships and were to be heavily armed with 24 and 28 cm guns. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_28

De Perel, however, was never equipped with guns at all. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_29

1878 to 1905 National Redoubt (Belgium)_section_5

In 1872, the idea of the Rupel Neteline as defence line was proposed with the around lying polders as defence by inundation. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_30

However, the means lacked to proceed directly with the Construction. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_31

In 1878, construction started of three forts in Walem, Lier and (from 1882) Steendorp. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_32

The construction of Fort Schoten was started in 1885. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_33

In 1886 the redoubt Duffel was built to defend the railway line Antwerp-Brussels. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_34

Three more redoubts (Oorderen, Berendrecht and Kapellen) were built respectively to defend the inundatable polders and the dykes and the railway line to the Netherlands. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_35

Finally, the Act of 1902 started the construction of the forts Sint Katelijne Waver and Stabroek, but they were not even fully completed and armed in 1914. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_36

Prelude National Redoubt (Belgium)_section_6

Act of March 30, 1906 National Redoubt (Belgium)_section_7

The development of newer weapons was so fast that in 1900 a committee was established to review the defence of Antwerp. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_37

This committee considered the defence of Antwerp to be inadequate, but did not propose a solution. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_38

Eventually the government in May 1905 submitted a proposal, which proposed the demolition of the Brialmont wall and the construction of a security circle around the forts 1-8 and the Rupel-Nete line as the first defence line. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_39

This plan was ratified by Act of March 30, 1906. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_40

The plan provided for the construction of 11 new forts and 12 new redoubts. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_41

This so-called Hoofdweerstandstelling included in total on the east bank of the river Scheldt 16 forts and 10 redoubts and on the west bank 5 forts and 2 redoubts. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_42

Structure of the forts and redoubts National Redoubt (Belgium)_section_8

Brialmont forts National Redoubt (Belgium)_section_9

Classical fortifications had an approximately rectangular shape. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_43

A good example of a rectangular fort with artillery positions on the corners is Fort Liefkenshoek of the 16th century. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_44

The gradual evolution in the fort construction in the 19th century led to two schools, the 'French' and 'German'. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_45

The German forts had a polygonal structure with caponiers. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_46

The French forts had a bastioned construction. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_47

Brialmont in 1846 visited Germany where he took notice of the German way of construction. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_48

The forts had multiple functions. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_49

They were 1° long range defence, 2 ° support fire between the forts and 3 ° ditch and short range defence. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_50

The design was adapted to these functions. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_51

On the outside the forts were protected by 40–50 m wide ditches, which were to obstruct a direct assault. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_52

On the outside of the ditch the ground was sloping (the glacis) to enable direct fire on any enemy. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_53

On the inside of the ditch walls were raised up to 10 m height to protect the inside of the fort against direct fire. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_54

The artillery was placed on and behind the walls. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_55

The actual fort had a polygonal structure. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_56

The main building of the fort was the réduit within the fort with the quarters for the crew of the fort in peacetime and as last defence if the enemy had already penetrated within the perimeter of the fort. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_57

This réduit was manufactured in brick. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_58

It was defended by guns on the roof. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_59

The guns were placed at the outer sides of the fort. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_60

The main armament was at the front (from which the enemy was expected) behind the earthworks. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_61

This armament was placed in the main caponier (a kind of bunker with a thickness of 2.5 to 3m) in the middle of the main front. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_62

The main front had a width of about 350 m. At the sides of the main front are two half caponiers. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_63

On the main front about thirty guns and mortars for the long distance defence were placed. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_64

Both the main caponier and the half caponiers were constructed in a bunker with cannon cellars. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_65

At the rear end the fort could be supplied via a bridge over the canal. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_66

To protect the rear two low batteries were placed for ditch defence. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_67

The later forts such as the barrier-forts have a similar structure but without réduit. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_68

The forts were connected by the R11 military road, thereafter developed into a small green outer ring for Antwerp. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_69

Act of 1906 National Redoubt (Belgium)_section_10

The construction of these forts began in 1909 after the expropriation of land. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_70

The works were performed by the firm Bolsée from Antwerp. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_71

The forts are very similar, with some exceptions. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_72

The forts were built in 2.5 m unreinforced concrete, which would offer resistance to 28 cm caliber shells. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_73

Most fortresses are known as so-called second order forts with a main armament turret for two 15 cm guns, two turrets for 12 cm howitzers and four turrets for a 7.5 cm gun. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_74

The so-called first order forts had an extra turret for two 15 cm guns and two additional turrets with a 7.5 cm gun. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_75

The 15 cm and 12 cm howitzer guns were placed at the main front. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_76

On the flanks of the main front caponiers were placed for ditch defence. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_77

These are in the following types: composite casemated caponiers, caponiers with turrets (Fort Bornem) and detached (Forts Stabroek, St. Katelijne Waver and 's Gravenwezel) or attached reverscaponiers (Forts Brasschaat and Kessel). National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_78

Fort Bornem has a different structure with a pseudo-bastioned front with turrets on the caponiers. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_79

Armament National Redoubt (Belgium)_section_11

The forts had a multiple function: National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_80

National Redoubt (Belgium)_unordered_list_1

  • Long-range defenceNational Redoubt (Belgium)_item_1_6
  • Fire support between the forts themselvesNational Redoubt (Belgium)_item_1_7
  • Short range and canal defence.National Redoubt (Belgium)_item_1_8

The first forts 1-8 (Act of 1859) originally had no fixed artillery. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_81

The artillery consisted of mobile field artillery. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_82

Developments in the gun caliber had been taken into account in the construction by an increased ground cover. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_83

In the later forts fixed artillery is used. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_84

The main developments in the field of artillery were: National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_85

National Redoubt (Belgium)_unordered_list_2

  • From 1885, instead of gunpowder, picric acid or nitrocellulose was used.National Redoubt (Belgium)_item_2_9
  • The shells had explosive action by using TNT.National Redoubt (Belgium)_item_2_10
  • In Germany, the first drawn-steel gun barrels were manufactured, which replaced cast iron and bronze barrels. Gun caliber, thus, could be increased. The effect of a shell impact increased greatly.National Redoubt (Belgium)_item_2_11

Development of chemistry and metallurgy dramatically changed the cannon, which, until the mid 19th century, had barely changed. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_86

The artillery developments necessitated adjustments to the forts. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_87

From 1890 fixed artillery was used. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_88

Partly, the artillery was placed in turrets, partly mounted separately. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_89

From 1890 the thickness of the concrete vaults was brought up to 2.25 to 2.5 m. The heaviest guns at the time were 21 cm (Krupp) or 22 cm (mortar Le Creusot). National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_90

The forts had to be able to resist shells of this caliber. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_91

However, the developments went very fast. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_92

In 1905 the Japanese during the siege of Port Arthur used 28 cm guns. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_93

Shortly before the First World War Germany already had 30.5 and even 42 cm caliber ( "Big Bertha "). National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_94

Trials in Russia in 1912 with a Belgian turret showed that it could not withstand 28 cm guns. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_95

Although the military leadership was aware of it, this information was ignored. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_96

The military could do nothing, since further modifications to the forts were not possible. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_97

The Belgian forts did not have such heavy artillery as the Germans. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_98

Because they had a defensive purpose, the heaviest artillery gun used was 15 cm caliber. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_99

Only the fortifications for the Scheldt defence (forts De Perel, St. Philip) had 24 and 28 cm guns and Fort Schoten had 21 cm guns. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_100

The forts around Liege and Namur had 21 cm howitzers, but with relatively limited range of 6.9 kilometers. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_101

The armament of the forts of the outer circle (Act of 1906) for the long range consisted of one or two turrets with two 15 cm guns (39 kg shells, with a range of 8.4 kilometers), two turrets for a 12 cm howitzer (20 kg shells, range 6.4 kilometers), four or six gun turrets for a 7.5 cm gun, (5.5 kg shells; range 6 km), two observation clocks. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_102

In addition there was a ditch defence of sixteen 5.7 cm guns (2.7 kg shells, range 2.2 kilometers, especially used with grape-shot for the short range) and support fire between the forts (two 7.5 cm and two 12 cm guns). National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_103

First World War National Redoubt (Belgium)_section_12

Further information: Siege of Antwerp (1914) National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_104

At the outbreak of war in 1914, the Germans first attacked the forts at Liege. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_105

The Germans were equipped with 30.5 cm (Austrian lent Skoda Motor Mörser; range 9.6 kilometers) and 42 cm (the Big Bertha, range 10 km) caliber guns, with shells respectively 380 kg and 1000 kg. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_106

These were able to destroy the fortresses of non-reinforced concrete. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_107

They could be deployed while outside the reach of the Belgian artillery. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_108

On August 15, 1914, Fort Loncin was destroyed by a German hit in the ammunition depot. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_109

350 men were killed immediately, and half of the fort was destroyed. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_110

To this day, the remains of these men remain buried in the ruins of the fort. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_111

After establishing a defensive line near Liege, the Germans marched westward, and on September 4 the first shells were aimed at the axis Walem-Breendonk. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_112

Then, for a couple of weeks, the Germans concentrated on the front in France. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_113

On September 22, the attack on the defence of Antwerp was renewed but now focused on Walem-Lier, with the intention of breaking the ring of forts and capturing Antwerp. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_114

On September 30, German heavy artillery destroyed the forts of Walem, Sint Katelijne Waver and Koningshooikt. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_115

On October 2, Fort Lier suffered the same fate. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_116

Fort Kessel fell on October 4. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_117

On October 5, the bombardment of Fort Broechem started. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_118

On October 6, Fort Broechem was put out of action. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_119

The position of Antwerp then became untenable. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_120

On October 9, the Belgian Army abandoned the east bank of the river Scheldt, blowing up the forts of Schoten, Brasschaat, Merksem, Kapellen and Lillo. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_121

In total the Germans fired 590 rounds of 42 cm (17 in) ammunition and 2,130 30.5 cm (12.0 in) shells onto the forts, whose garrisons were helpless against an enemy who bombarded them from a distance. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_122

But the forts did enable the Belgian Army to escape; on October 10, it abandoned the west bank of the Scheldt and retreated behind the Yser line, about 150 km to the west, where it would resist for the rest of the War. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_123

Interbellum and Second World War National Redoubt (Belgium)_section_13

1918–1939 National Redoubt (Belgium)_section_14

In the First World War the vulnerability of the forts had become evident. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_124

The development of artillery went faster than the construction of resistant fortifications. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_125

The concept of forts had become redundant. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_126

After the First World War the forts were therefore no longer seen as a defence line, but the role of the forts would be in the form of infantry support. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_127

Between the two world wars minor modifications were carried out to the forts. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_128

This involved: National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_129

National Redoubt (Belgium)_unordered_list_3

  • Rearmament, where parts of the old guns were replaced by the placement of light and heavy machine guns. The old gun turrets were replaced by so-called Abri élémentaires, half circular armored bunkers. Six of these were built per fort.National Redoubt (Belgium)_item_3_12
  • Locally improving the armor with reinforced concrete,National Redoubt (Belgium)_item_3_13
  • Placement of ventilation and installation of gas-tight rooms.National Redoubt (Belgium)_item_3_14

The forts also served as warehouses. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_130

Furthermore, the defence was strengthened by the anti-tank ditch, which ran from Berendrecht (at the former redoubt Berendrecht) to the Albert canal at Massenhoven. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_131

The anti-tank ditch runs in a circle around Antwerp at a distance of 15 km from Antwerp centre. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_132

The length is 33 km. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_133

The anti-tank ditch has 15 locks to regulate the water level. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_134

These locks were defended by bunkers. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_135

Of these thirteen were built, two of which have since been scrapped. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_136

The two remaining locks were defended by nearby forts or redoubts. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_137

The lock bunkers were armed with three 13.2 mm machine guns. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_138

1940 National Redoubt (Belgium)_section_15

In the Second World War the forts played but a limited role. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_139

After the attack on Belgium, the Belgian army retreated on May 14 behind the Albert Canal to the defence line Koningshooikt-Wavre. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_140

Because the Germans on May 13 broke the Maginot Line at Sedan, the army decided to withdraw further and abandon Antwerp and the Koningshooikt-Wavre line. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_141

On May 16 and 17 several forts came into action primarily to cover the retreat of the army to the Westhoek. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_142

The Germans maintained the fortifications well during World War II. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_143

Some were used as storage. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_144

Fort Breendonk was used a transit camp for deportation to Germany. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_145

In Fort Breendonk (ca. 300) executions were carried out. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_146

Currently, Fort Breendonk is a national memorial. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_147

Present National Redoubt (Belgium)_section_16

The small forts 1–7 were demolished during the construction of the Brialmont wall, except fort 2, of which the reduit is part of the current sports arena. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_148

The Brialmont forts 2–8 still exist. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_149

Fort 1 (Wijnegem) has been demolished in 1959 (when it was 100 years old) during the construction of the shopping centre Wijnegem and the extension of the roads N12 and R11. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_150

Of the forts of the Act of 1870 the forts Merksem, Kruibeke, St. Philip and Zwijndrecht still exist. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_151

Fort De Perel was blown up in the Second World War by the Germans. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_152

The last remains were demolished in 1958. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_153

All forts from the period 1877–1883 (Walem, Lier, Steendorp (formerly also called Rupelmonde), Schoten) are extant. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_154

Of the period 1883–1893 the redoubts in Duffel and Kapellen remain. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_155

The redoubts Oordenen and Berendrecht were demolished in connection with expansion of the port of Antwerp. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_156

All forts built between 1906 and 1914 still exist. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_157

Redoubt Massenhoven was demolished for the construction of a reservoir along the Albert canal. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_158

All other redoubts also still exist. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_159

The redoubts Smoutakker and Schilde were blown up by the retreating Belgians in the First World War. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_160

Of the Brialmont forts 2–8 two are a museum, two are nature reserve, one is communal property, one recreation area, one property of the University of Antwerp. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_161

Of the forts from the period after 1870 two are still military domain, one is a recreation complex and one nature reserve. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_162

Of the forts from the period 1877–1883 one is military domain, one nature reserve, one communal property (formerly Ministry of Finance) and one is owned by a shooting club (plus radio amateurs). National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_163

Redoubt Kapellen is militarily domain, redoubt Duffel private and will be opened to public after maintenance financed by European funds. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_164

Fort Sint Katelijne Waver has been overbuilt with recreation houses. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_165

Fort van Stabroek is recreational property (paint ball). National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_166

Of the forts from the period 1906-1914, three are still military domain, one has been overbuilt with recreation houses, one with fishing houses, two serve as museums, two are private property and three recreation area. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_167

Many of the forts now serve as hibernation reserve for bats. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_168

This is the case for five of the Brialmont forts 2–8 and for 11 of the later forts. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_169

Fort Brasschaat has the largest numbers of hibernating bats, between 800 and 900. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_170

The other forts accommodate smaller numbers between 20 and over 300. National Redoubt (Belgium)_sentence_171

See also National Redoubt (Belgium)_section_17

National Redoubt (Belgium)_unordered_list_4


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National Redoubt (Belgium).