Gros ouvrage d'artillerie du Simserhof. (Simserhof large artillery strongpoint.) The Simserhof was a Gros Ouvrage, one of the strongest Forts of the Maginot Ligne. It was build inbetween 1929 and 1938 and the costs amounted to the equivalent of 30 million €. Used by the french army till 1992 it is now a museum well worth visiting. The visit consists of one guided tour of the "caserne" underground barracks, a 15 minute documentary film and a tour by train through the huge ammunition storage. Unfortunately this part of the tour is a multimedia show that can only appeal to the visitor without any knowledge about WW2 and the Maginot ligne, I would have preferred a simple visit without noise and movies and lasers and special effects. The main critique is that any of the combat blocks, most of which are still intact, can't be visited. Though one of the employees told me that maybe next year they would open one of the blocks to the visitors. In all there were ten blocks, one entry block for personnel with a lift and underground barracks, one entry block for ammunitions with an underground ammo depot and eight fighting blocks. All the blocks were interconnected with underground tunnels (total length 5,3 km) for an electric railway. Inbetween the fighting blocks there was an underground Command Post. During the "Blitzkrieg" the Simserhof was not directly attacked, it fired a 13.500 artillery shells in defence of neighbouring Fort Casso though. (The Forts were always spaced in such a distance that they could defend each other and lay artillery fire on the sector inbetween.) After the french capitulation the Simserhof surrendered to the germans. During the war the Wehrmacht kept a technical crew in the fort and used it as a storage for torpedoes. On the 15th of november 1944 the 100th ID of the US Army took the Simserhof from the germans, only to abandon it in the first days of january 1945 when Hitler launched "Operation Nordwind". On the 15th of march 1945 the US Army again took control of the Gros Ouvrage. After the war the french army repaired the damages to the Simserhof, with the exception of the No. 5 fighting block which had been too badly destroyed. The Simserhof was used as a permanent installation until 1956 and was manned during exercises until 1992. The remnants of the old French army barracks at Légeret, a few hundred meters away from the Fort, except for two all the old buildings have been destroyed to make place for a new housing project. In these barracks the soldiers on active duty lived during peace time. A WWI vintage machinegun cuppola from a "Casematte Pamard". Barbed wire entanglement. The ammunitions entry block. Ammunitions and stores were brought to the Simserhof by a 60 cm gauge Field Railway. The fort could fight in total autonomy, without being resupplied for 3 months. Destroyed machine gun cuppola on top of the ammunitions entry block. Tenders of the 60cm Field railway.