Eben-Emael Travel Guide

  • Entrance Bloc at Eben Emael
    Entrance Bloc at Eben Emael
    by mtncorg
  • Behind me and the tank is an administrative bldg
    Behind me and the tank is an...
    by mtncorg
  • NCO barracks within the caserne souterrainie
    NCO barracks within the caserne...
    by mtncorg

Eben-Emael Things to Do

  • Fort Eben Emael

    Fort Eben Emael, called the "giant" of the Fortresses. Consisting of three levels up to 60 meter under ground and covering 75 acres with 17 bunkers of different types. Total fire power was a massive 2100 kg of explosives each single minute. The bunkers were placed in a ship resembling design, making this a unique fortress. The fortress has an...


    Shaped or hollow-charge explosives were discovered by an American, Charles Munroe, in 1888. Improved upon by German scientist, Egon Neumann, in 1910, the hohlladungwaffe was held by the German Army as a close secret. It was Hitler, himself, who came up with the idea for a glider attack on the fort. Paratroopers trained for the operation from early...

  • BLOC 01

    Bloc 01 was sited 100 meters outside the main fort, but it was the most important observation post of all since it overlooked the Albert Canal, the Lanaye Locks and the Meuse River all the way across the Dutch countryside to the German border. This position was never attacked by the Germans. In what was but another error on the part of the Belgian...


    After visiting the interior of the fort – maybe taking the extended guided tour to the gun cupolas – it is time to turn your attention outside. A trail will take you to the top of the fort where you can see the gun casements and cupolas from the German perspective. The damage done by the German raiders is still evident on many of the observer...


    The German attack of Fort Eben Emael on 10 May 1940 was the first time gliders were used in combat. An example of one of the gliders used is on display deep inside one of the passages of the Caserne Souterrainie. The gliders were fairly flimsy affairs with room for 11 men. They were pulled to the vicinity of their targets by slow-flying Ju 52...


    Inside one of the galleries of the Caserne Souterrainie is a memorial to those Belgian defenders who lost their lives defending the fort. The Belgians lost 21 men inside the fort – 61 were wounded while the Germans lost 6 dead and 18 wounded. You will find another monument outside the entrance block dedicated to the defenders and those who died....


    The full garrison of the fort came to 1322 men but they were all artillerymen or support soldiers with no infantry present to help defend the fort in case of an actual attack. Of the men present, half were rotated in and out of the fort with only 750 men present – and that number was usually much less – at one time. About half the garrison slept...


    One of the lessons learned by the Belgian fort makers from WWI and the Liege forts was to separate gun casements and ammunition magazines so that one lucky shot would not destroy the entire fort as it did at Fort Loncin. Individual casements were separated by at least 150 meters and could be sealed off from the interior of the fort by pairs of...


    Unlike the big forts along the Maginot Line in France, there was only one entrance to Fort Eben Emael. The block was protected by two 60 mm antitank guns, three machine guns, two searchlights and a 4 meter ditch along with grenade slots which allowed nasty surprises to be dropped down onto unwanted guests. The entrance block was defended by some 28...


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