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egbert

Aerial- Which fort near Lille?

48 posts in this topic

I have some aerials from Fort Genois at Lille but cannot find the today`s location on a modern map/satellite map. Any clues where this Fort might be ?

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Fort Génois means Genoese/Genovese Fortress (as in Genoa). Not sure if this is a particular design of fortress or specifically a fortress built by the Genoese. Are the aerials clear enough to give clues to Pals who know Lille?

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Well this is in the context of Lille. Should be easy, right? But I cannot make it up in a modern satellite map at all.

post-80-1244381553.jpg

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I have never heard of this fort so I looked long and hard at the 1708 siege map of Lille which shows all the fortifications and can find no Fort Genois or even a place called Genois. This is a real puzzler as unlike Liege, Lille was not built with lots of forts surrounding it but as a walled city with a citadel. I will be fascinated when someone comes along with an answer to this (or embarrassed if its an obvious answer :unsure:

Jim

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Looking at Google Earth I'd say Lille and Genois appear to be much further apart than on the aerial. So I wonder if the pic is correct...

Roel

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Roel thats what I ask myself too! I will post the other 2 pics as well - But they are not as conclusive as the posted. I see discrepencies on the 2 other as well.

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Here are all other photos the WW I author has marked 'Genois near Lille'

post-80-1244392928.jpg

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This one looks different to me. Winter photo w/snow

post-80-1244393077.jpg

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The last one. It shows the nearby town of Genois (Genois bei Lille). Maybe helpful for identification

post-80-1244393225.jpg

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I've been googling a bit, and there are more "fort Genois" around the world: also in Tunesia, Algeria and near Cannes. Some websites talk about "a fort Genois by Vauban", when they mean the fort at the island of st. Marguerite near Cannes. Vauban is also the man who designed the citadel around Lille. Therefore I think "fort Genois" doesn't necessarily refer to the actual name of the fort on the aerial, but to a type of fort.

Roel

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Roel – see my post #2. I can't find a place called Genois anywhere near Lille. A fortification of that name might have disappeared over the years or been re-named, but a place would surely still be the same, even if by now absorbed into greater Lille.

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Missed your post, but it looks we have the same opinion.

Roel

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Looking at Google Earth I'd say Lille and Genois appear to be much further apart than on the aerial. So I wonder if the pic is correct...

Roel

Roel

How are you finding anywhere called Genois - all my searching finds no town of that name and the last photo does not show a small place. What am I missing here!! :unsure:

Jim

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You're not missing that much, Jim. I've been a bit too quick in my conclusions. The "Genois" I found on Google Earth isn't a town, but some company by that name... :blush:

Haven't found any other Genois near Lille, so I'll trust on what I've written in post #10.

Roel

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I wonder if it was Fort de Mons, which is due East of the Lille Citadel?

post-1473-1244403300.jpg

Robert

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I am getting fussed. Found a couple of Lille forts :

Fort de Mons-en-Baroeul

Fort de Premesques

Ouvrage de Lompret

Fort de Bondues

Fort de Seclin

but none matches. When zooming through google maps sat view I see also some minor forts/ouvrages.

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The picture in post no 9 has been identified by Alain Dubois ,member here and also in a French forum where the pictures are being discussed. It is actually Le Quesnoy NOT Genois!!! Bravo.

So where is the British sportsmanship to beat the French colleagues in identifying the 2 different forts shown in the other pictures and most likely also wrong-named 'Genois'?

The direction it is said in the French forum points more towards Maubeuge area

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I still think that Genois is being used not as a proper name but as a descriptor for a particular type of fortress. As Roel said earlier, Vauban, who fortified Lille, is also associated with the refortification of the old Genoese fortress (fort génois) at Cannes. So I think the German observer is using Fort Genois and Genois to mean fortifications by/in the style of/of the period of Vauban.

Mick

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Could be Mick! Sounds reasonable .

Besides the ongoing identification of the other pics, here is a stunning sample what google earth can do: if you look at the height in the following pic (lower right) you discover that the original photograph of Le Quesnoy was taken at appr. 1750 ft, unbelievable correct.

post-80-1244477770.jpg

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The style of fortress layout is typical of those Vauban forts I have visited. Diagram. There's a programme about le Quesnoy here (in French).

Gwyn

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I'm glad all this was sorted out. it was "doin' me hed in" :P

Jim

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Hell no Jim, nothing is over unfortunately. The forts in pictures number 3,7 and 8 are still not identified. Only the town pic is solved. 3,7,and 8 show different forts I believe. Please carry on racking your brains

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Here is a link to a map with the forts that ringed Lille in 1914. http://www.fortiff.be/iff/index.php?p=1756 If you click on the forts and other fortified works, you will see lost of recent photos.

Also, I recommend use the French version of Google Earth for sites within France or is possessions, it has better resolution. http://www.geoportail.fr/visu2D.do?ter=metropole

Cheers, Marc

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Thanx Marc, I have found the fortresse site earlier today and have already reviewed all Lille forts per google earth. I did not find any matching contours to the pictures posted here. Its a real enigma

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Mick, I understand the point you are making. The problem, however, is the village that was clearly marked as Genois on the photograph. Of course the labelling may be wrong, but my approach FWIIW is to return to this possibility if all others have been ruled out. The map of the Lille-related fortifications is very helpful. If the photograph is labelled correctly, then the fortification was very very close to what was the built-up area of Lille at that time.

Robert

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