Tag Archives: Hoboken

Redoubt XVIII

Description – Redoubt XVIII of the Veiligheidsomwalling is a small redoubt located between  Fort VII and Redoubt XVII to the east and  the southern river Scheldt battery to the west. Fort VIII Hoboken is found to the north but was not included in the defensive positions.

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 XVIII 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 is located on an industrial storage site.

Sources – Own elaboration; Gils, R.

Redoubt XVII

Description – Redoubt XVII of the Veiligheidsomwalling is a small redoubt located between  Fort VII and Redoubt XVI to the east and  Redoubt XVIII to the west. Fort VIII Hoboken is found to the north but was not included in the defensive positions.

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 XVII 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 and can be visited free of charge and is a reasonable condition.

Sources – Own elaboration; Gils, R.

Redoubt XVI

Redoubt XVI
Redoubt XVI

Description – Redoubt XVI of the Veiligheidsomwalling is a small redoubt located between  Fort VII and Redoubt XV to the east and  Redoubt XVII to the west. Fort VIII Hoboken is found to the west but was not included in the defensive positions.

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 XVI 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 and can be visited free of charge. Based on the damage to the front cupola building it is likely that the garrison destroyed it when they evacuated. It is in quite reasonable condition, some graffiti present. The moat is still present although a bit overgrown. It serves as a playground for children who use the bumpy terrain as a mountain bike course. The site can be accessed by the Moerelei but is difficult to reach by car.

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Sources – Own elaboration; Gils, R.

Lunet Hoboken

Description – The lunet of Hoboken was built on a dyke of the river Scheldt. Located southwest of the city of Antwerp it guarded river traffic but was originally built to secure the Borgerweertpolder.

Construction & Armament – This lunet featured a wet moat and four ramparts. These ramparts add up to a roughly triangular design. It had only one entrance to the northeast. The lunet is not considered a fort since it is not known whether there was a garrison stationed on a permanent basis. It can be considered an older redoubt.

Armament –

  • ?x Cannon

Current condition – The lunet of Hoboken shows up on several maps dating back to the siege of Antwerp in 1584. It might be possibly still considered a defensive work in 1851 as it secured the Hoboken polder area. It lost its military role when the Brialmont forts of 1859 were erected; Fort Hoboken and Kruibeke secured the southern river Scheldt access to Antwerp. Most of the site is presumed to be destroyed since part of the port of Antwerp expanded in this area since the 1890’s. Today one finds an industrial site (Antwerp Blue Gate).

Sources – Own elaboration; Gils, R., Cannaerts, J.

Fort 7 Hoboken

Description – Fort 7 of Hoboken was part of the first line of forts protecting the city of Antwerp designed by Brialmont. It is a so called Keller fort but should not be confused with the later forts located more to the east and to the south. It was built on a strategic location but was not part of a genuine defensive circle.

Construction & Armament – The fort was built in 1851 featuring earth works (palisades). Later a brick main building was added roughly the shape of a horse shoe. Initially these forts did not have a saillant towards the city. When later upgrades were added it became a genuine fort. This raised tensions with the city of Antwerp who feared possible bombardments. Fort 7 Hoboken had a four pointed star shape with bastions; the design is the same as nearby Fort 6. It featured a wet moat.

Armament –

  • ?x Cannon

Current condition – In 1858 these small forts were completed but by that time it became clear that they could not defend the city of Antwerp. Their location made it impossible to include them in future defensive positions so they were declassified or absorbed in the Grote Omwalling.  Fort 7 was included in the Grote Omwalling and served as an additional redoubt. Construction of the R1 ringroad erased most trances.

Sources – Own elaboration; Gils, R.; Remes, K.; Cannaerts, J.

Fort VIII Hoboken

Fort VIII Hoboken
Fort VIII Hoboken

Description – Fort VIII is located near the community of Hoboken and close to the river Scheldt. It was built to protect the city of Antwerp from bombardement guarding the Saint Bernard main road and rail connection. It also served as a fort closing the southern part of the river Scheldt defenses.

Construction & Armament – Fort VIII is the only fort left without concrete upgrade. It is therefore a prime example of an unaltered Brialmont fort. It differs from its counterparts only in details. The fort features a wet moat (partly filled up and occupied by a sports terrain), a caponnière, two halve caponnière galleries and a central reduit.  Adjacent to the fort several redoubts and the sourthern Scheldt battery were constructed. It does not feature an officers’ building. Because of the terrain the wet moat is less wide and the ramparts are a bit more steep.

Armament –

  • 1x

Current condition – The Belgian Army abandoned the site in 1975.The fort is good condition when referring to the reduit and the main building. This is largely due to efforts by a local guided tour association. The artillery entrance has been converted to a pub and the left caponniere is used as festivities hall. The reduit is in very good condition since some of the trees and vegetation has been removed. It is a fort were one can find original wooden servitude housing (a former officers’ quarter).

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Sources – Own elaboration; Gils, R.; Caremans, V; Oliviers, T.; De Wit, G.