Fort Liezele - Puurs, Belgium - Re-enactment, January 24, 2016. 

Re-enactment weekend in Fort Liezele - Puurs.  Frontleven 40-45


Fort Liezele (Source: Wikipedia)

In May 1908, the digging works and the construction of the Fort of Liezele started. Under pressure from the impending war with Germany, works are at an accelerated pace. Towards the beginning of the First World War, Liezele was fairly well finished compared to other forts.


On August 4, 1914, the Germans invade Belgium. In the near future, extra defence works are being carried out around the fort. The fort is under the leadership of Commander Fievez. To get a clear view from the fort, the village of Liezele and surrounding areas are completely burnt down. At the beginning of September, after the conquest of the Liege fortifications, the Germans attack the fortress belt around Antwerp. Liezele lies outside the actual line of fire, but is shot at a number of times with field artillery.


At the beginning of October 1914, the then King Albert I was forced to withdraw his field army from Antwerp to the rear of the Yser. The fort Liezele remains isolated behind and is forced to capitulate on 10 October 1914. The fort will then become part of the German defence line for four years and will be reinforced by the construction of concrete bunkers.  During the interbellum, the fort is used as a barracks for heavy field artillery.


In 1939, a year before the outbreak of the Second World War, the fort was converted; machine guns are installed, the domes are removed and a number of classrooms are made gas-free. On May 10, 1940, the Germans invade Belgium again. During the battle of May 1940 no fights took place around the fort. During the war, the Germans set up the fort as a depot.


After 1945 the fort no longer has any military significance. It is set up as a valuable museum by the VZW Liezele, in the middle of a green and quiet environment. The fort also served as a film location for De Hel van Tanger and the series De Smaak by De Keyser.


Because the fort has become a museum, there have been fewer and fewer bats over the past few years, and counts indicate that around 90 specimens have found a safe spot.