The Butte de Vauquois

Gros plan sur le monument de La Butte de Vauquois. Source : http://cdelmars.pagesperso-orange.fr/

Straddling the Meuse, the Marne and the Ardennes, Argonne was at the heart of the Great War's battles

The Argonne region was at the heart of the Great War's battles. Straddling the Meuse, the Marne and the Ardennes, this massif felt the echo of battles at Marne and Verdun, witnessed violent confrontations on its own soil, and served as a rearguard base for many soldiers. The Vaux-Marie, the Butte de Vauquois, the Haute-Chevauchée...several Argonne names are famous, for less than felicitious reasons... The General Staff felt that the butte de Vauquois, which dominates the entire eastern region of the Argonne, was an excellent observatory and a key strategic site. On 24 September 1914, the Germans took the butte and transformed it into a veritable fortress. On 4 March 1915, after several unsuccessful attempts, the French began to make a comeback. The fight for space had begun. The soldiers went underground to dig several kilometres of tunnels and combat gullies so that they could infiltrate the enemy camp, set off tonnes of explosives, and decimate enemy numbers as much as possible, The Butte de Vauquois became something akin to a termite colony, made up of multi-level underground construction (more than 17km of wells, tunnels and gullies). It served as a major site in the Mine War (519 reported explosions, of which 199 are German and 320 French), and was liberated by the Americans on 26 September 1918. As a still-intact Great War site, the Butte de Vauquois is a classified Historic Monument.

Association des Amis de Vauquois 1, rue d'Orléans - 55270 VAUQUOIS Tel.: 0033 (0)3 29 80 73 15 Answering machine. We will return your call as soon as possible. E-mail: amis.vauquois@wanadoo.fr Daily free, self-guided visits of the above-ground site (follow the arrows). Guided tours of the German and French underground installations by Association guides: [list]the first Sunday of the month at 9.30am [list]1 and 8 May (from 10am to 6pm) annually [list]September on national "journées du patrimoine" annually [list]on appointment for groups (minimum 10 people) A free map of all the 14-18 sites open to the public is available at all the sites and at Meuse tourist information offices.

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    Practical information

    Address

    55270
    Vauquois
    Tél. : 03 29 80 73 15

    Weekly opening hours

    Visites guidées des installations de surface et souterraines: le 1er dimanche de chaque mois de 9h30, les 1er et 8 mai de chaque année (de 10h à 18h), en septembre, chaque année lors des journées du patrimoine et sur rendez-vous pour les groupes (+ de 10

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    Commemorative sites