14-18 Langres

at war

The Blanchefontaine bridge:

The defence measures of the town the day before the battle of the Marne.

Although it was far from the front, Langres was threatened by the rapid advancement of the Germans at the start of the conflict. The horror of seeing the enemy arrive at the foot of the ramparts was very real and continued until the battle of the Marne and the fastening of the front.

From the declaration of the conflict, the army equipped the town and the surrounding forts defensively, which involved works to reinforce the existing structures. On 3rd September 1914, when the German army was dangerously gaining ground, the Blanchefontaine bridges were dismantled in order to re-establish the moats of the citadel that were already present. A few days later, on 9th September when the battle of the Marne was ending and the German army dug the first trenches, the town maintained this defence. The archway of the gate of the town hall was bricked up, whilst at the Belle-Allée, the defence works were taking place all along the road. The trees between the gate of the town hall and the ‘piquante’ tower were cut down in order to clear the view to the north of the town and those in the Allée des Marronniers were pruned. To control the comings and goings, the decision was made to shut all the village gates between 8pm and 5am, except the town hall gate, the Auges gate and the gate of the road bypassing the citadel (road of the Parc à Fourrage). Landlords of buildings with a cistern were asked to clean them in order to meet the water demands of the cité should there be a siege.

Pont de Blanchefontaine

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