10-Jun-2005 -- Because I'm going in early retirement soon this is probably the last DCP that I will visit during a business trip. Returning from the Bodensee (Lake Constance) in the South of Germany I had to drop one of my colleagues in Houfalize in the Ardennes (Belgium). A convenient and beautiful route led us close to the confluence of N49° and E7°.
Leaving the A4 at exit 43 we followed the N81 direction Sarralbe. My colleague acted is navigator. Reading the map was assisted by numerous signs indicating "Route Barrée" which means "Road Blocked". A minor navigation error was detected soon. The confluence is at the edge of a fenced area containing a water tower.
The whole area is within the 100 m limit and the tower is a real landmark, taken while driving on the N56, looking South. So my main picture of the DCP depicts the tower. SIERS means "Syndicat Intercommunal des Eaux de la Region de Sarralbe" of which I only need to translate "des Eaux", which means "of Waters", and Sarrable is the nearby city.
Image #6 shows the GPS
bonded to the corner of the fence. Time is UTM, add 2 hours for local time. Remark: the last digit in this decimal presentation is in the order of 1 meter per count, The image gives the closest distance of 3.6 m recorded by my GPS.
The surroundings are open rolling fields, not very spectacular as can be seen in the images looking North
. And of course the water tower is on the top of a hill with a GPS reported altitude of 267 m = 875 ft (WGS84).
A small collection of local colorful flowers
is assembled in image #8.
Walking to the north-west side of the tower the grass was cut, unveiling an area with some bunkers and a lot of heaps and pits, which are most likely the result of heavy bombing. A new flagpole was raised and some information boards were waiting for information.
Searching the Internet learned the area of Sarralbe to be part of the MAGINOT line; a line of defense constructions mainly based on the effect of inundation to troops.
In the beginning of World War II the Germans attacked Sarralbe on the 14th & 15th of June 1940 during operation Tiger and operation Kleiner Bär (Little Bear) deploying a huge amount of men and material. At the end of the war Sarralbe saw the Battle of the Bulge (Ardennes Offensive). As our visit of the 10th of June was close to the dates of the battle in 1940 I expect the area be cleaned up in preparation of the commemoration of this attack to the Maginot line.