The Forts of the Meuse in World War I
On October 29, 1891, the new forts built around the cities of Li ge and Namur, known as the "Forts of the Meuse," were turned over to the Belgian ... Show synopsis On October 29, 1891, the new forts built around the cities of Li ge and Namur, known as the "Forts of the Meuse," were turned over to the Belgian Army. The huge project, which had begun in 1888 and cost 71.6 million Belgian Francs, required over 9,000 workers to complete. It produced 21 modern forts that could defend the strategic rail, river, and road arteries passing through narrow gaps to the flat, open plains of Flanders. The Forts of the Meuse were the creation of General Brialmont, one of the foremost military engineers of his time. The development of new and more powerful artillery meant that Brialmont's forts were made of concrete, featuring underground barracks, storerooms, and guns protected in revolving steel turrets. In August 1914, the German Army attempted a quick crossing of this area in order to reach France, but it took them 12 days to destroy the fortresses, with the 30,000 Belgian troops putting up a valiant fight. Containing maps, diagrams, and photographs taken from private collections, this book explores the design, development, and influence of the "Forts of the Meuse," and highlights the importance of their role during the opening battle of World War I.