This is the highest point of the Maginot Line, built next to what is now called the highest paved road in Europe. Construction was limited to around 90 days a year – the brief Alpine summer when the site was free of snow – and consequently this and other fortifications were unfinished when war broke out. It is still possible to imagine the misery of living within, under the oppressive threat of bombardment and death, and to feel the contrast between the dark discomfort and the glorious views without. More than ten years in planning and construction, these positions were only manned for eighteen months before the Germans invaded through Belgium and rendered them redundant. War is a test of opposing imaginations as much as technologies: while the technology was more than adequate, perhaps in this case the French imagination proved too romantic, or simply unable to apprehend the real threat.
Find out more at bunkerresearch.com, follow Max on Instagram here, and buy a copy of the book here.