HISTORY OF  FORT TROYON
 
Fort Troyon is part of the "defensive screen of Hauts-de-Meuse" conceived by General Séré de Rivières. It is located between the fortified towns of Toul and Verdun.
 
Its mission was to protect the valley of the river Meuse, just like the neighbouring forts : Génicourt, Les Paroches and Le Camp des Romains.
 
This fort was built in less than twenty months, between 1878 and 1879. About one thousand workers (laburers, carpenters, stone-cutters, masons…) worked daily on this difficult construction site which required 160 000 m3 of excavation and 40 000 m3 of masonry.
 
The fort was made entirely with free-stone and covered with five to six meters of dirt. The buildings cover five hectares on a total surface of twenty-three. Its cost was estimated at 2 millions “gold-francs” of the time, that is approximately 50 millions Euro.
 
This is a low battery fort : central building in a dry site (no water in the ditches). It contains eighteen open-air platforms for heavy artillery, along the “rampart street”.
The center was occupied by housing and premises for the garrison and the services (dormitories, kitchens, bakery, infirmary, magazines, workshops…)
The ditches were protected by three caponiers ; the entrance was protected by six heavy cannons placed in a ravelin (on this fort : a semicircle shaped building)
According to the new offensive fights plans of the French general staff, the fort was considered to be too far at the rear. It was therefore not modernized nor concreted. Partially downgraded and not much maintained, with a reduced garrison and having an almost obsolete armament, it underwent the German bombardments and assaults with its original masonry.
 
Its most glorious episode happened in September 1914, when 450 men of its garrison resisted 10 000 soldiers of the 5th German Army which tried to surround Verdun and to take in the rear the 3rd French Army during the Battle of the Marne. The Imperial Crown Prince thought of bringing down Fort Troyon within 24 hours. During six days, the heroic resistance of the small garrison prevented him from it, faithful to the slogan of the elements of the 5th Foot Artillery Regiment, affected in some Séré de Rivières forts : “Bury oneself under the ruins of the fort rather than capitulate”. Situated between Verdun and Saint-Mihiel, it was on the front line during the whole war and was regularly shelled by the Germans, but they didn’t try to capture it again.
 
In 1918, the fort served as military field hospital for the American wounded soldiers during the fights of “St-Mihiel Salient” and Montsec ridge. More than 800 of them died here from their injuries.
 


Open Saturday, Sunday and on Public
Holidays
From 2.00pm to 6.00pm
on leavingTroyon and Lacroix villages
 
CONTACT
Association"Ceux de Troyon"
BP32 55300 St Mihiel
 
Tel. +33(0)7.89.84.64.08
Tel .+33(0)6 .75 . 23 . 11 . 09
Mail.  fort-de-troyon@orange.fr