Tag Archives: Halve Maan

Lunet Deurne

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.

Armament –

  • ?x Cannon

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.

Sources – Own elaboration; Gils, R.

Defensive Dyke

Description – The defensive dyke connects the fort of Zwijndrecht to the south with fort Fort Saint Mary to the north. It was built to allow the left bank of the river Scheldt to be secured by an inundated area. It is considered to be part of the military road connecting the forts and redoubts of the veiligheidstelling. It features two strong points: the lunet of Halve Maan and the redan of “Put van Fien” and measures approximately 2600m in total length.

Construction & Armament – Construction of 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.

Armament – Based on “Halve Maan” and “Put van Fien”

  • ?x 90mm

Commander 1914 – ?

Current condition – The defensive dyke did not see any action during the Great War. Since no forts north of Fort Haasdonk were built it was argued that the defense of the left bank would be centered on the defensive dyke and nearby forts. 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. Today it still marks the administrative border between the provinces of Antwerp and Eastern-Flanders.

Sources – Own elaboration; Gils, R.; Van Meirvenne, R.