On 12th September 1914, the front was established on the hill at La Fontenelle, which had been a school garden before the war. The French occupied the summit, at contour line 627. The Germans dug in firmly on the Eastern flank, constructing powerful trenches from which attacks were then regularly launched.
On 23rd June 1915, with the help of the explosions of underground mines and the reinforcement of well-equipped heavy artillery, the Germans inflicted a severe defeat on the French by reaching the summit. However, on 8th and 23rd July of the same year, two violent counterattacks saw the French troops regain a foothold on the hill. 1,500 prisoners were taken. After 25th July, mine warfare raged while raids replaced frontal attacks in the trenches.
Despite the determination of the Germans, the heights of La Fontenelle remained in French hands.In 1925, a monument was inaugurated near the cemetery containing the bodies of 2,348 French soldiers. The German soldiers were brought together at the cemetery of Senones.
Planning your visit:
Free access from January 1st to December 31stAdmission: Individuals and groups;school groups: free. Guided tours for group (F): €3
Guetting there: from Sté Dié take the D49 towards St Jean d'Ormont, then Ban-de-Sapt. From Etival, take the D32 towards Ban-de-sapt. From Senones take the D49 towards Le Palon. From Saales takes the D32 towards Col du Las then Ban-de-Sapt. From Provenchères take the D45 towards Col d'Hermanpaire then Ban-de-Sapt.
Office de Tourisme du Pays des Abbayes
18 place Dom Calmet
Tel: +33 (0)3 29 57 91 03