Eurocon 2009 – Visit to Fort Eben-Emael

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Every year the Eurocon organisers find an interesting place to visit for guided tour. Last year it was the Wings To Liberation museum, this year “Fort Eben-Emael” in nearby Belgium. Built just before the second world war, the Germans captured it in just 37 hours.

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The fort was designed to withstand a frontal attack and had huge cannons to defend it ant he surrounding area. To capture it, the germans landed gliders on the top of the fort (The fort is built into a limestone hill) and attacked it with infantry from above, a clever and effective tactic.

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Earlier I wrote how my journey to the Eurocon had taken quite a long time. Having arrived in France so early I drove for a few hours throught he night until I felt tired then stopped to sleep for a few hours in the car. I arrived in Liege at about 9am so went looking for a swimming pool partly for the chance to swim but mostly for the chance to have a shower and freshen up before the Rotary meeting. After the swim I followed the SatNav directions to a nearby tourist attraction, listed as a Fort. Fort’s are good destinations for tourists – they normally have good views over the area and this one did too.

Just outside was a memorial to soldiers who died during the first world war. This fort, at Chaudfontaine, was also used during the second world war along with the new, larger fort at Eben-Emael