16 March 2019

Feste Bleibtreu

Le Pain de Sucre, Vosges, France
Category: Historic Landscapes   Tags: WWI
Historic Landscapes - Feste Bleibtreu - Le Pain de Sucre, Vosges, France

During World War I, the German army used the peaks in the Vosges Mountains as observation posts. Le Pain de Sucre is a rock formation at 671 meters near the village of Celles-Sur-Plaine. It dominates the Vallée de La Plaine and faces Col de la Chapelotte. The Germans strengthened its position with fortifications and called it “Feste Bleibtreu”, named after one of its commanding officers.

On 1 August 1916, French troops tried to conquer the peak. The distance to the top is only one kilometre, but the steep slopes proved very difficult terrain. The German defenders soon noticed the French progressing through the barbwire and they bombed them with grenades. Under heavy fire, the French commander ordered to retreat.