Description – The Lunet of Deurne was part of the first line of defensive structures protecting the city of Antwerp after 1851. It was built on a strategic location but was not part of a genuine defensive circle. Sometimes referred to as Lunet 2-3 because its location was between the smaller forts 2 (Deurne) and fort 3 more to the south. Locals referred to it as “halve maan” (half moon) because of its shape.
Construction & Armament – The lunet was built in 1851 featuring earth works (palisades) and it has a triangular shape. It had a wet moat surrounding the ramparts.
Current condition – In 1858 the small forts surrounding forts were completed. By that time it became clear that they could not defend Antwerp and tensions rose because they could be used to bombard the city. Their location made it impossible to include them in future defensive positions so they were declassified or absorbed in the Grote Omwalling. Lunet 2-3 located at Deurne continued to exist and a military butchery was installed on the site. Several buildings were erected. The lunet was demolished and a laboratory and research facility was built on its premises.
Description – Lunet Halve Maan is located on the defensive dyke that connects the fort of Zwijndrecht to the south with fort Fort Saint Mary to the north. It was built defend the dyke and guard access to the Borgerweertpolder to the west and to the village of Melsele to the east. Its name was given by the local population since its shape resembles more or less a half moon.
Construction & Armament – Construction the lunet and the dyke commenced in 1871 together with the military road encircling Antwerp. East of the dyke the area could be flooded when a siege would take place. West the Borgerweertpolder area allowed a defending army to take refuge. It did not see any action in 1914 since the Siege of Antwerp was centered on the right bank of the Scheldt river. The lunet is surrounded by a wet moat which runs up north to Fort Saint Mary.
Armament – Lunet “Halve Maan”
Commander 1914 – ?
Current condition – The defensive dyke did not see any action during the Great War. When it lost its military role it was kept as a safety barrier in case of floods. In 1953 a flood damaged part of the dyke. In order to close breached dykes near Kallo much of the earth works of Halve Maan were removed. Although the original buildings have been demolished the bridge access is still present. The shape of the lunet is still clearly visible in the landscape. Part of Halve Maan is private property and the moat is used for recreational fishing sports.
Sources – Own elaboration; Gils, R.; Van Meirvenne, R.