Tag Archives: Brasschaat

Fort Kapellen

Description – The fort of Kapellen is located near Kapellen guarding the railroad connecting Antwerp to Rosendaal. It is a small concrete fort.

Construction & Armament – The fort was made out of unarmed concrete and construction commenced in 1893 and. In 1897 the fort was considered completed but installing armaments took until 1900. Being a fort of the Hoofdweerstandstelling it features a smaller number of artillery cupolas than the full fledged forts nearby. It is surrounded by a wet moat.

Armament – Fort Kapellen

  • ?x 150mm fortress gun
  • ?x 120mm fortress gun
  • ?x 57mm

Commander 1914 – ?

Current condition – The fort did not see any action 1914 and it was disabled by the garrisson when they retreated to the Netherlands. The fort was refitted during the interbellum. Today it is part of the army base of Brasschaat and a tank museum is located nearby. The fort is in quite bad condition since the moat has been filled on one part, the main building served as a practice shooting range. Some windows are bricked up. The site is off limits to visitors, a tour might be possible upon request. The fort cannot be accessed using the main entrance since a canine training association is located on this premises. A railway junction leading to the Polygon of Brasschaat runs next to the fort.

Sources – Own elaboration; Gils, R.

Fort Brasschaat

Description – The fort of Brasschaat is a concrete (armored) fort of the second order with attached reverse caponnieres. It is part of the hoofdweerstandstelling and is located in the eastern corner of the Antwerp defensive positions. The fort has the same design as Fort Kessel. To the east one finds the Fort of Kapelles and the redoubt of Dryhoek to the southwest.

Construction & Armament – The fort was made out of unarmed concrete and construction commenced in 1906. In 1914 it was considered to be completed. Its design is similar to Fort Kessel and differences are only found in details. Being a fort of the Hoofdweerstandstelling it features a smaller number of artillery cupolas than first order designs. It has an attached reverse caponnieres and a back/rear caponniere to defend the intervals between forts. It is surrounded by a wet moat, later an anti-tank ditch was constructed. To the northeast one finds the Brasschaat Polygon military site and base.

Armament – Fort Second Order

  • 2x 150mm fortress gun
  • 6x 120mm fortress gun
  • 8x 75mm
  • 18x 57mm

Commander 1914 – ?

Current condition – The Fort of Brasschaat did not see any action during the siege of 1914. The garrisson evacuated the fort and retreated to The Netherlands. In 1917 it became part of the German Hollandstellung (nord). It was refitted during the interbellum and a anti-tank ditch was constructed, some locks are located nearby. After the Second World War the fort was decomissioned although it remaind a military site. The Belgian Army conducted explosives practice on the fort; the left wing of the fort has been partly destroyed. The fort is in average condition but is off limits to visitors.

Sources – Own elaboration; Gils, R.

Redoubt Dryhoek

Description – The redoubt of Dryhoek was built between Fort Brasschaat and Fort Schoten. Named for the Dryhoek (Driehoek) commune it secured the road to Breda (Bredabaan) and is a standard redoubt of the hoofdweerstandstelling. It did not see any action during the Great War as it was lost to German forces on 9th of October (and possibly partly rendered useless) by the retreating garisson. Later it was incorporated in the 1917 Hollandstellung.

Construction & Armament – This concrete redoubt was constructed between 1909 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 and during war time the garrison entailed units from Fort Brasschaat or Fort Schoten.  One cupola was built in front of the redoubt: it had one 75mm gun installed. It was part of the hoofdweerstandstelling.

Armament – Hoofdweerstandstelling Redoubt

  • 4x 120mm fortress gun
  • 5x 75mm fortress gun

Current condition – The redoubt of Dryhoek did not see any action in 1914 but it was probably evacuated on 8th of October. Records show that it might have been partly destroyed. In 1917 it became part of the Hollandstellung of the German Army since they feared an allied invasion from The Netherlands. During the interbellum it did not receive a connection to the anti-tank ditch located more to the northeast. It is not know if the redoubt was refitted with bunkers (pillboxes) since the location of the anti-tank ditch is quite a distance to the northeast. After the Second World War is became private property; today club Dixies (Dicies Nouveau) is located in the redoubt. An extra level has been added to the existing two stories redoubt layout.

Sources – Own elaboration; Gils, R.