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Antitankgracht

Antitankgracht

Bike Touring Highlight

Recommended by 116 out of 121 cyclists
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  • Dirk V 🚲 🚶📷

    The Antwerp Antitankgracht is an artificial watercourse that forms a large quarter circle around the city of Antwerp.
    The moat has a length of about 33 km and is at least 6 meters wide. It connects the Scheldt near Berendrecht with the Albert Canal in Oelegem

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    • August 16, 2021

  • Only beautiful here along the anti-tank canal with its bunkers, cycling along the water!

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    • June 28, 2020

  • Here you are at a historic location that was part of Defense Line Antwerp WW2.
    Historical interpretation: The anti-tank ditch is a 33 km long defensive ditch northeast of Antwerp, between the Scheldt and the Albert Canal. The canal was constructed between 1938-1940 as part of the Antwerp fortress.
    In the 1930s the Belgian army reoriented the fortress to a defense for infantry (supports) and machine gun companies. The military added the anti-tank ditch and bunker lines (KW-line) to the existing defenses by forts and redoubts. The aim was to stop tanks. Therefore, the anti-tank ditch had to have a slope, depth and width that a tank of that time could not exceed:a bottom of at least six meters wide
    a width of 18m at the water surface
    a depth of at least three meters
    a minimum water level of two meters
    slopes of 45°
    Originally, the Antitankgracht was to become a dry canal, but because it was full of water, it was forced to be converted into a wet canal. The route had to bridge a difference in height of roughly 3 to 18.5m (DTM). That is why it was divided into about 45 compartments with locks. A slide in the sluice regulated the water flow and thus maintained the level. The water came partly from seepage water or local streams and partly from the Maas, supplied via the Dessel-Schoten canal. Because control over the water levels was so important, each lock was defended by a bunker.The bunkers at the Antitankgracht consist of lock bunkers with flanking daughter bunkers and flanking bunkers. The lock bunkers are elongated freestanding bunkers with a large blank wall, camouflaged by 'eggs' and were usually equipped for two machine guns.

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    • May 18, 2022

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  • Easy
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Location: Schilde, Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium

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