Montmorency Fort

Fort de Montmorency. Source :

Montmorency Fort, built in the 19th century, is noteworthy for having housed the first station of Hertzian cables.

Montmorency Fort's high elevation made it a choice site for transmissions. The 19th-century fort is noteworthy for having housed the first station of Hertzian cables.

In the 19th century, Paris was an entrenched camp at the bottom of a bowl. Each time the Prussians invaded, the fortifications were moved further out from the city. Each successive wall was intended to ensure that the heights, from which the enemy had bombarded the city during the previous war, would be out of the invaders' reach
The first fortified system
In 1814 and 1815, the Prussians of the coalition occupied the first circle of heights, i.E. in the North, the heights of Montmartre.
The first fortified system, which Thiers had built in 1840, enclosed Montmartre and, outside, included a line of forts located 2 to 5 kilometres from one another.
Three forts were built in Saint-Denis to the north: Fort de la Briche, Fort de la Double Couronne and Fort de l'Est.
The second wall
In 1870, the Prussians, who had installed themselves on the second circle of heights and, in particular, the Montmorency Plateau, blockaded Paris and seriously jeopardised the Saint-Denis defensive system.  As a result, after the war, it was decided to build a second wall.
At the National Assembly on 14th February 1874, Thiers again rose to the speaker's stand to defend the project, which he asked General Séré de Rivière to carry out.
The Fort of Domont was built on the north-eastern spur, Montmorency on the south-eastern spur, and Montlignon to the west, two to three kilometres away from one another. 
The Fort of Montmorency could defend Saint-Denis and its surroundings, deemed the weakest link in the chain of defence around Paris.
A choice site for transmissions.
In 1947, an air force detachment occupied the Fort of Montmorency, whose elevation made it an ideal site for transmissions.
In 1952, the first terrestrial cable station, owned by the Compagnie d'exploitation et d'installation des transmissions d'Etampes, moved into the fort.
On 16th September 1956, the headquarters of the network of terrestrial cables of the national air defence and the squadron operating the terrestrial cables moved in.
In May 1959, the terrestrial network of the 2nd air region was entrusted to the Escadron régional de câbles hertziens (Regional Terrestrial Cables Squadron), which afterwards took its present name, the Escadron de câbles hertziens (Terrestrial Cable Squadron).  
After air base 285 was disbanded in June 1968, the Fort of Montmorency was attached to air base 104 at Le Bourget and, later, in April 1981, to air base 921 at Taverny.  
The Escadron de câbles hertziens joined air base 217 at Bretigny in June 1987.
The commando fighting techniques initiation centre 
Since 1992, the Fort of Montmorency has housed the Commando Fighting Techniques Initiation Centre, which depends on air base 921 in Taverny.
The highly successful site offers all the opportunities for this kind of training. Most of the soldiers are fusiliers commandos of the air protection unit, but also military units of rank and reservists from other units from the base.
This listed historical monument, occupied by the Ministry of Defence, is part of a Defence Culture protocol, signed on 17th September 2005.

Fort de Montmorency

Quartier des Champeaux Rue du Fort

95160 Montmorency

Tel: +33 (0)1 30 40 64 75

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Ministry of Defence

Secrétariat Général pour l'Administration Direction de la Mémoire, du Patrimoine et des Archives

14 rue Saint-Dominique 00450 Armées

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Ville de Montmorency



Quizz : Forts et citadelles


  • Interior of Montmorency Fort. Source:

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