Musée de l'Abri de Hatten


Useful Information

Location: Rue de l'Abri, 67690 Hatten.
50 km north of Strasbourg, 40 km west of Karlsruhe.
(48.899190, 7.967795)
Open: Mid-MAR to 14-JUN Thu-Sun, Hol 10-18.
15-JUN to 15-SEP daily 10-18.
16-SEP to mid-NOV Thu-Sun, Hol 10-18.
[2022]
Fee: Adults EUR 8, Children (6-16) EUR 5, Children (0-5) free.
Groups (10+): Adults EUR 6.
[2022]
Classification: SubterraneaWorld War II Bunker TopicLigne Maginot
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension:  
Guided tours: self guided, D=3h.
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Bibliography:  
Address: Musée de l'Abri de Hatten, Rue de l'Abri, 67690 Hatten, Tel: +33-388-801490. E-mail:
Hatten Town Hall, Tel. +33-388-800026, Fax: +33-388-800925.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.

History

1930 start of construction.
1936 completed and manned by french troops.
JAN-1940 battle of Hatten-Rittershoffen.
1940 French army defeated, bunker abandoned.
1994 museum opened to the public.

Description

The Abri de Hatten is a bunker of the Maginot Line, construction was started in 1930 by the French army. The Maginot Line was named after the French Minister of War André Maginot. It was established to provide time for their army to mobilise in the event of attack. It ran along the German and Italian borders, but was rather weak along the Belgian and Luxembourgian borders. This border was much longer and Belgium was intended as a buffer. As a result the Germans invaded Belgium, defeated the French army, and flanked the Maginot Line.

The bunker was designed to shelter a garrison of 220 men. It has a barracks of 28 rooms and all the equipment necessary to house and feed a company of soldiers in times of war. It has a well, a boiler room, an engine room, dorms, toilets, and showers. The bunker was protected against poisonous gas. The front is a 60 m long concrete wall, the rest of the bunker is underground. The two massive armored doors are protected by close defense, four machine gun positions, and a ditch or moat in front of the wall. It was designed to collect the blocks of concrete splintering off the facade in case of an attack.

The whole fortification was actually never used. But the villages of Hatten and Rittershoffen were the site of one of the fiercest tank battles in France. The battle of Hatten-Rittershoffen in January 1945 was part of Operation Nordwind, Hitler's last offensive on the western front. The results were 85% destruction and 114 civilian casualties.

The Abri de Hatten is the biggest of 19 bunkers on the territory of Hatten, a village on the Haguenau forest. This is the place where the French-German border, which follows the Rhine river from the south, turns west in a 90° angle. So this part of the Maginot line forms a point and was thus of great strategic importance. The Abri has 28 rooms which are all renovated, 8 are used as exhibition rooms, 14 have been restored to their original state. There is a collection of models of French fortifications, a diorama of the battle of Hatten, memorials to the dead civilians, the Malgré-Nous, Alsace men who were forced into the Wehrmacht after the Alsace was annexed. Outdoor display include numerous big machines like a Mirage français 3B, tanks, a Russian military helicopter, cannons, and trucks. Highlights are T34 tank in running condition and a MIG plane. There is also a reconstruction of the Berlin Wall.