The federal fortress Ulm

The German federation and its fortresses

After the Napoleoni wars, which found their end with the defeat Napoleon on 18 June 1815 with Waterloo, during the Viennese of congress in the same year under Austrian presidency the German federation was created. The exchanges of territory in Central Europe, which developed under the pressure of the French emperor, were various and deep seizing. From a stable political situation in the German-speaking countries still no speech could be. The political and military guidance of the German federation saw it as major task to secure the new confederation of states outward and above all also inward and strengthen. In addition political measures, in addition, military mechanisms belonged. Garrisons for the federal troops developed, above all however had for fortresses to be planned and built. Beside the new national fortresses, for example Ingolstadt and Koblenz, it came to the building of the federal fortresses Landau, Luxembourg, Mainz, Rastatt and Ulm. during the first mentioned border fortresses was simultaneous, should Ulm the support of an army operating in South West German country become, in addition, starting point for operations, which had to be led across the Rhine against France. Federal fortresses received this names, because they were central financed by the German federation. The means for it originated from the French war remunerations from 1815. The designation is also on the mixed crew from different federal troops – in Ulm: Wuerttemberger, Bavaria and Oesterreicher – to lead back.

Building principle of the federal fortress Ulm

The fortress Ulm became a central fortress of first rank and a large weapon place for up to 100.000 men. Since Wuerttemberg had no own engineer corps, Prussian major Moritz von Prittwitz became and Gaffron after Ulm appoint and appointed from the wuerttembergischen king to the director of building of fortresses. Major Theodor von Hildebrandt led the building of fortresses of the Bavarian side of the fortress Ulm. Major von Prittwitz planned with large farsightedness, whereby he included also the prospective development of the city Ulm. It used useful constructions of older attachment systems, particularly however the ingenious drafts Marc Renè de Montalemberts (1714-1800) and the ideas Albrecht Duerers (1471 – 1528). From a fusion of different defaults and own conceptions Prittwitz developed " the again-Prussian " or " new German attachment ". Ulm became the monumental expression of this idea. Outstanding features of this kind fortress are on the one hand long, straight wall and barrier courses, which meet blunt-angularly one on the other and which fortress the form of a polygon (polygon) give; on the other hand the powerful, multi-storey Kasemattbauten for cannon list, which are enough also than Caponnieren so mentioned for coating, straight ditches ensure. Thus was the time of the Bastionaersfestung with their aufwaendigen, much-jagged sketch finally past. The new form of the polygonal attachment was considered as particularly modern, efficiently and surely.

As the further improvement the fortress consisted of two from each other independent parts: polygonal Hauptumwallung of ring around the city on the one hand and in the distance before it arranged belt from independent Aussenforts on the other hand. These should prevent the direct attack on the Hauptumwallung and be at the same time bases for the own troops in the apron.

Structure of the entire plant

The structure of the federal fortress Ulm orients itself strongly at the conditions of the area. Strongest part of the Umwallung is the William castle with the William celebrations on the Michelsberg – the citadel. Reciprocally of it the mountain fronts lead to the city down, followed from the Hauptumwallung the level. Completely defensable core works with branch lines alternate. The core works (often called bastion) could be still held in the sense of a section-wise defense also if for instance the branch lines were conquered. In each case opposite the Danube connections bank continues at the right river side the Stadtumwallung new Ulms links. This fortress part was a bridgehead largely put on. Troops could cross covered the Danube in such a way. The city new Ulm was in-built after completion of the Umwallung into this bridgehead, why king took Ludwig I. of Bavaria on planning regarding the size of the internal area influence. By the Hauptumwallung six large fortress gates lead: Ehinger, Blaubeurer, native of stuttgart and Friedrichsau gate on Ulmer side, Augsburger and Memminger gate on new Ulmer side. Together with the building of fortresses the gradual development of the railway began, for which well secured passages were put on by the fortress.

The organization of the Aussenforts is of amazing varieties. The three graduated Forts put on of lower ones, middle ones and upper cow mountain protected the cow mountain. The slopes of the donkey mountain controlled the Forts Soeflinger tower and lower donkey mountain. North the William celebrations is appropriate, the high plateau of the Alb beginning securing, the away Prittwitz, originally away for Avancé mentioned. Additionally the turret teacher " tower could " coat the intermediate area.

A similar turret is the Oerlinger tower, which secured the Oerlinger valley and the line to Stuttgart. On the hill of the Safranberges the large away Albeck with its Nebenwerk Safranturm lies. Finally closely being located the away Friedrichsau follows at the Danube, and thus in the level. The new Ulmer Umwallung surrounds the Forts Schwaighofen, Ludwig before celebrations and Illerkanal.

Construction period, circumstances and costs

The federal fortress Ulm was built from 1842 to 1859. Their grundsteinlegung took place on 18 October 1844, the anniversary of the people battle from Leipzig, in the foundation of the Kehlturms of the William castle and at the same time on new Ulmer side for the Bavarian part closely west the Caponniere 4. Had preceded 23 years of planning, in which the drafts were several times changed. A limited cost framework forced to some simplifications. Missing factory numbers in the layout plan stand for planned, but not or works implemented only later.

The construction costses of the federal fortress amounted to 16.5 million guldens. The middle daily wage of the fortress workers amounted to about 40 cruisers; measure beer cost 8 cruisers. The highest level at workers was reached 1848: Beside 2000 eisenbahnarbeitern were over 8000 men with the building of fortresses busy. The white law limestone breaks of the close blue valley supplied enormous quantities of building material. The bricks, which were used particularly on new Ulmer side, originated from direction-own brickyards. Beside other branches of industry above all the cement industry developed by the building of fortresses in Ulm.

Advancement of the fortress

With its completion in the year 1859 the federal fortress Ulm was one of the largest and most modern plants of their kind in Europe – and nevertheless at one blow becomes outdated: The invention of the cannon with pulled pipe made trebled ranges of fire and better aiming accuracy for the aggressor possible. The Forts, which should already stop the aggressor before the Hauptumwallung, was appropriate now not far for enough advanced forward. The fortress Ulm was never entangled several times in politically uncertain situation reinforced (i.e. in defense readiness shifted), but in war actions. 1866 disintegrated the German federation and after the establishment of the German Reich 1871 took over this the fortress ("realm fortress").

A reinforcement of the existing works and an extension of the entire fortress followed at all, with which was considered to the improved cannon technology. In addition one established two modern Forts to 1881-87 on the upper donkey mountain, with which the walls for the enemy lay uneinsehbar. In addition one built curved shelter on the barriers in the old fortress and broke too in parts highly rising (thus of far anvisierbares) brick-work off. The architectural style with visible walls and towers, oriented for the last time carried out during the federal fortress, up had retired. Further developments in the cannon technology forced starting from 1900 to a reinforcement with nearly completely concrete shelters before and between the old Forts, encompassed into the earth. These shelters were pure shelter of the so-called infantry bases. The own artillery against it was set up in the intermediate area. The most important Forts of the old fortress was strengthened with concrete, which was Hauptumwallung however militarily worthlessly and became sold to the cities. The realm fortress experienced its last extension by reinforcing of 1914. The ring of new concrete works, put forward again, whose remainder is unique today in the Federal Republic, was completed however no longer completely. The fortress status of Ulm was waived 1938.

Meaning of the fortress for Ulm

Ulm remained by the fortress to the large garrison town and it until today. Since the federal fortress was exposed to never direct war effects and because it remained exempted from the regulations of the Versailler of contract, completely substantial parts remained preserved. They contribute to protect the identity of the city Ulm which suffered by devastating bomb attacks in the Second World War so strongly.

There are many problems with the preservation of the fortifications. Missing ones or damaged mauerdaecher, destructive uncontrolled growth, refuse dumps, Vandalismus and mismatching uses already in parts led to large damage.

A meaningful, monument-fair use helps, which secure building maintenance for the future. That applies completely particularly also to the outdoor installations of the continuation considerable one of parts by the two cities and by the federation was already restored and above all for cultural mechanisms made available. But also without concrete use the monument protection must be taken seriously, which concerns in the meantime the fortress in its whole. The large-scale glacis plants win special meaning as local recreation areas. The cities Ulm and new Ulm a green belt nearly closed in itself moves by these plants. The buildings of fortresses control the townscape of the two neighbour cities with their great architecture in many places.

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