Category Archives: 1906

Constructed in the wake of the Belgian Law of 1906

Redoubt IX

Description – Redoubt IX of the Veiligheidsomwalling is a small redoubt located between Fort IV Mortsel to the north and Fort V Edegem to the west. Redoubt VIII was constructed a little more to the east.

Construction & Armament – This concrete redoubt was constructed between 1910 and 1912. It is considered to be standard redoubt featuring artillery and secured the interval between two adjacent forts. The redoubt featured a wet moat but has only one floor. It is smaller than the design of the Hoofdweerstandstelling redoubt. One cupola was built in front of the redoubt: it had one 75mm gun installed. Two 75mm guns secured the intervals.

Armament – Veiligheidsomwalling Redoubt

  • 3x 75mm fortress gun

Current condition – Redoubt IX was completed when the Great War broke out in 1914. It is not known if it participated in any defensive actions. No traces of the redoubt were found on the former site and the a housing block has been built on this site.

Sources – Own elaboration; Gils, R.

Redoubt VIII

Description – Redoubt VIII of the Veiligheidsomwalling is a small redoubt located between Fort IV Mortsel to the north and Fort V Edegem to the west. Redoubt VII was constructed a little more to the east. Between the redoubts ran the main road to Mechelen. Redoubt IX was built more to the west.

Construction & Armament – This concrete redoubt was constructed between 1910 and 1912. It is considered to be standard redoubt featuring artillery and secured the interval between two adjacent forts. The redoubt featured a wet moat but has only one floor. It is smaller than the design of the Hoofdweerstandstelling redoubt. One cupola was built in front of the redoubt: it had one 75mm gun installed. Two 75mm guns secured the intervals.

Armament – Veiligheidsomwalling Redoubt

  • 3x 75mm fortress gun

Current condition – Redoubt VIII was completed when the Great War broke out in 1914. It is not known if it participated in any defensive actions. No traces of the redoubt were found on the former site but its moat shape is still discernible on aerial photos.

Sources – Own elaboration; Gils, R.

Redoubt VII

Description – Redoubt VII of the Veiligheidsomwalling is a small redoubt located between Fort IV Mortsel to the north and Fort V Edegem to the west. Redoubt VI was constructed a little more to the east. The railway Antwerp-Brussels is located in between the redoubts. Redoubt VIII was built more west.

Construction & Armament – This concrete redoubt was constructed between 1910 and 1912. It is considered to be standard redoubt featuring artillery and secured the interval between two adjacent forts. The redoubt featured a wet moat but has only one floor. It is smaller than the design of the Hoofdweerstandstelling redoubt. One cupola was built in front of the redoubt: it had one 75mm gun installed. Two 75mm guns secured the intervals.

Armament – Veiligheidsomwalling Redoubt

  • 3x 75mm fortress gun

Current condition – Redoubt VII was completed when the Great War broke out in 1914. It is not known if it participated in any defensive actions. No traces of the redoubt were found on the former site.

Sources – Own elaboration; Gils, R.

Redoubt VI

Description – Redoubt VI of the Veiligheidsomwalling is a small redoubt located between Fort IV Mortsel to the north and Fort V Edegem to the west. Redoubt VII was constructed a little more to the west. A main road runs between the redoubt and Fort IV (Lier Gate). Between the redoubts the railway Antwerp-Brussels is located.

Construction & Armament – This concrete redoubt was constructed between 1910 and 1912. It is considered to be standard redoubt featuring artillery and secured the interval between two adjacent forts. The redoubt featured a wet moat but has only one floor. It is smaller than the design of the Hoofdweerstandstelling redoubt. One cupola was built in front of the redoubt: it had one 75mm gun installed. Two 75mm guns secured the intervals.

Armament – Veiligheidsomwalling Redoubt

  • 3x 75mm fortress gun

Current condition – Redoubt VI was completed when the Great War broke out in 1914. It is not known if it participated in any defensive actions. The redoubt was demolished and no remains can be found in the current landscape. The site has become a housing quarter.

Sources – Own elaboration; Gils, R.

Redoubt V

Description – Redoubt V of the Veiligheidsomwalling is a small redoubt located between Fort III (Borsbeek) to the north and Fort IV Mortsel to the southwest. Redoubt IV was constructed a little more to the north. A railway ran between the two redoubts.

Construction & Armament – This concrete redoubt was constructed between 1910 and 1912. It is considered to be standard redoubt featuring artillery and secured the interval between two adjacent forts. It secured the Cantevroy Gate which was located close by. The redoubt featured a wet moat but has only one floor. It is smaller than the design of the Hoofdweerstandstelling redoubt. One cupola was built in front of the redoubt: it had one 75mm gun installed. Two 75mm guns secured the intervals.

Armament – Veiligheidsomwalling Redoubt

  • 3x 75mm fortress gun

Current condition – Redoubt V was completed when the Great War broke out in 1914. It is not known if it participated in any defensive actions. The redoubt still exists but some parts are demolished. It serves as a storage facility.

Sources – Own elaboration; Gils, R.

Redoubt IV

Description – Redoubt IV of the Veiligheidsomwalling is a small redoubt located between Fort III (Borsbeek) to the north and Fort IV Mortsel to the southwest. Redoubt V was constructed a little more to the south. A railway ran between the two redoubts.

Construction & Armament – This concrete redoubt was constructed between 1910 and 1912. It is considered to be standard redoubt featuring artillery and secured the interval between two adjacent forts. The redoubt featured a wet moat but has only one floor. It is smaller than the design of the Hoofdweerstandstelling redoubt. One cupola was built in front of the redoubt: it had one 75mm gun installed. Two 75mm guns secured the intervals.

Armament – Veiligheidsomwalling Redoubt

  • 3x 75mm fortress gun

Current condition – Redoubt IV was completed when the Great War broke out in 1914. It is not known if it participated in any defensive actions. The redoubt was demolished and a trailer site has taken its place.

Sources – Own elaboration; Gils, R.

Redoubt III

Description – Redoubt III of the Veiligheidsomwalling is a small redoubt located between Fort II (Wommelgem) to the north and Fort III (Borsbeek)to the south. Redoubt II was constructed a little more to the north.

Construction & Armament – This concrete redoubt was constructed between 1910 and 1912. It is considered to be standard redoubt featuring artillery and secured the interval between two adjacent forts. The redoubt featured a wet moat but has only one floor. It is smaller than the design of the Hoofdweerstandstelling redoubt. One cupola was built in front of the redoubt: it had one 75mm gun installed. Four 75mm guns secured the intervals.

Armament – Veiligheidsomwalling Redoubt

  • 5x 75mm fortress gun

Current condition – Redoubt III was completed when the Great War broke out in 1914. It was abandoned by the garrison on 8th or 9th October in the wake of artillery shelling on Fort IV Mortsel. Some deserting soldiers went to Redoubt II in order to convince the defenders to leave as well. One deserter was shot by the commander of Redoubt II. The redoubt still exist but is private property and cannot be viewed from the street side.

Sources – Own elaboration; Gils, R.; Jacobs, W.

Redoubt II

Description – Redoubt II of the Veiligheidsomwalling is a small redoubt located between Fort II (Wommelgem) to the north and Fort III (Borsbeek)to the south. Redoubt I was constructed a little more to the north and Redoubt III consequently to the south.

Construction & Armament – This concrete redoubt was constructed between 1910 and 1912. It is considered to be standard redoubt featuring artillery and secured the interval between two adjacent forts. The redoubt featured a wet moat but has only one floor. It is smaller than the design of the Hoofdweerstandstelling redoubt. One cupola was built in front of the redoubt: it had one 75mm gun installed. Four 75mm guns secured the intervals.

Armament – Veiligheidsomwalling Redoubt

  • 5x 75mm fortress gun

Commander 1914 – adj.Huybrechts/Sgt. Hendrickx

Current condition – Redoubt II was completed when the Great War broke out in 1914. Commanded by Fort II Wommelgem the redoubt was the scene of British trenches. Deserting forces of Redoubt III tried to convince the garrison to leave their post; one soldier was shot by the redoubt commander adj. Huybrechts. Sgt Hendrickx assumed command thereafter. On 9th of October the garrison either deserted the site or retreated to the fort after the guns were disabled. The redoubt still exist but is private property and converted into housing; visitors can see the redoubt clearly.

Sources – Own elaboration; Gils, R.

Redoubt I

Description – Redoubt I of the Veiligheidsomwalling is a small redoubt located between Fort II (Wommelgem) to the north and Fort III (Borsbeek)to the south. Redoubt II was constructed a little more to the south. The redoubt housed a garrison of 3 junior officers and 33 NCO’s and soldiers.

Construction & Armament – This concrete redoubt was constructed between 1910 and 1912. It is considered to be standard redoubt featuring artillery and secured the interval between two adjacent forts. The redoubt featured a wet moat but has only one floor. It is smaller than the design of the Hoofdweerstandstelling redoubt. One cupola was built in front of the redoubt: it had one 75mm gun installed. Four 75mm guns secured the intervals.

Armament – Veiligheidsomwalling Redoubt

  • 5x 75mm fortress gun

Commander 1914 – Lieutenant Rosenbaum

Current condition – Redoubt I was completed when the Great War broke out in 1914. A British navy brigade led by brigadier-general Henderson occupies the trenches between Fort II and the main road to Berchem and Lier.  The redoubt was abandoned on October 9th. The redoubt still exist but is private property and hidden from public access.

Sources – Own elaboration; Gils, R.; Jacobs, W.

Fort Oelegem

Description – Fort Oelegem is a concrete (armored) fort of the first order with merged caponnieres. It is part of the hoofdweerstandstelling and is located in the eastern sector of the Antwerp defensive positions.

Construction & Armament – The fort was made out of unarmed concrete and construction commenced in 1909. Completion followed in 1912. Its design is similar to Fort Koningshooikt and is considered to be the strongest type of fort available to the fortress of Antwerp. It features a two merged caponnieres, two side cupolas and back/rear caponniere to defend the intervals between forts and redoubts. It features a wet moat. To the northeast one finds the redoubt of Schilde and the redoubt of Massenhoven to the south. It guarded the Capine and later the Albert Canal.

Armament – Fort First Order

  • 2x 150mm fortress gun
  • 2x 120mm fortress gun
  • 4x 75mm
  • 16x 57mm

Commander 1914 – Capt. Lannoy

Current condition – The Fort of Oelegem (Oeleghem) took part of defensive operations during the siege of Antwerp in 1914. It did not receive fire from German siege batteries. When the forts of Koningshooikt, Walem, Sint-Katelijne-Waver, Lier and Broechem were disabled it lost its role. It intervened on October 5th when it opened fire on the fort of Kessel since the latter was occupied by German forces. The fort still has some original grafitti located at the former northern observation tower dating back to 1915. After the war it was refitted. During the last phases of the Second World War it served as a observation and command station to intercept V1 flying bombs launched at Antwerp. It still has some drawings and writings by American soldiers on the walls of the hallways dating back to 1945. The Belgian Army abandoned the fort in 1963. Today the fort is a premier habitat site for several endangered bat species. The fort can be visited upon request during the summer. The fort is in good condition as it is maintained by volunteers.

Sources – Own elaboration; Gils, R. Van der Cruyssen, J., Smeyers, J.; De Wit, G.

Contact Link – Fort Oelegem