Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Gun Pr0n

While driving through the Swiss countryside one day, we took a side trip to the town of Vallorbe. It's not a name I had heard before, but the picture in the guide map showed a tank, so of course I couldn't resist!

Fort de Pré-Giroud is "an extensive military complex dug into a hillside in 1937 to defend against possible incursion by enemy forces over the nearby Col de Jougne from France. An innocuous chalet on the surface hides vertical shafts giving access to chilly labyrinthine tunnels and a whole subterranean bunker, complete with kitchen, dorms and a hospital, capable of supporting 130 people."

Three 7.5 cm guns were mounted to cover the valley completely, and are still present today :
click for hi-res

Also present are the soldiers' rifles, all lined up in their numbered stands :
click for hi-res

The tour was conducted completely in French, as our guide could not speak much English. They had a great info sheet in English, but we had to return it at the end of the tour. It was fascinating anyways, and well worth the time to drive into the hills and visit.

In addition to the tank outside, there were several artillery pieces - a 10.5cm, a 7.5cm and second model of 7.5cm.