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Hartmannswillerkopf, also known as the Vieil Armand (French) or Hartmannsweiler Kopf (German; English: Hartmansweiler Head) is a pyramidal rocky spur in the Vosges mountains of the Grand Est region, France. The peak stands at 956 metres (3,136 ft) overlooking the Rhine valley. At Hartmannswillerkopf stands a national monument of World War I for the fighting which took place in the trenches here.

Vieil Armand
Vieil Armand.jpg
The Hartmannswillerkopf seen from the Molkenrain
Highest point
Elevation956 m (3,136 ft) [1]
Coordinates47°51′40″N 7°09′40″E / 47.86111°N 7.16111°E / 47.86111; 7.16111Coordinates: 47°51′40″N 7°09′40″E / 47.86111°N 7.16111°E / 47.86111; 7.16111
English translationOld Armand
Language of nameFrench
Hartmannswillerkopf is located in Alsace
Hartmannswillerkopf is located in France
Hartmannswillerkopf (France)
Parent rangeVosges Mountains


Mountain peakEdit

The peak is located 9 kilometres (5.6 mi) from Cernay and 24 kilometres (15 mi) north of Mulhouse. The mountain is shared by the towns of Hartmannswiller, Wuenheim, Wattwiller and Uffholtz.


The French and Germans fought for control of the mountain peak during the First World War. Fighting took place throughout 1915. 30,000 died near Hartmannswillerkopf during the First World War, with the majority of deaths suffered by the French.[2] After about 11 months of fierce combat, both sides began to focus most of their attention farther north on the Western Front. Only enough men to hold the lines were left at Hartmannswillerkopf. The lines remained relatively stable for the remainder of the war and generally only artillery exchanges took place.

National monumentEdit

The memorial at Hartmannswillerkopf
For World War I battles at Hartmannswillerkopf
Location47°51′32″N 7°9′0″E / 47.85889°N 7.15000°E / 47.85889; 7.15000 (Hartmannswillerkopf)

Today, the area is a French national monument. There is a museum and a cemetery at the site, and it is also possible to explore the extensive trench system. Because the lines were static for such a long period, the trenches are very well preserved, especially on the German side of the front line.

There is a small memorial on the D431 north of Vieil Armand, commemorating Halifax bomber MZ807 of No. 433 Squadron RCAF, which crashed nearby in December 1944.

On 3 August 2014, French President Francois Hollande and German President Joachim Gauck together marked the centenary of Germany's declaration of war on France by laying the first stone of a memorial at Hartmannswillerkopf, for French and German soldiers killed in this area during the war.[3] On 10 November 2017 French President Emmanuel Macron and German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier inaugurated the new memorial.[4]



  1. ^ IGN maps available on Géoportail
  2. ^ Le Hartmannswillerkopf (68)
  3. ^ "French, German Presidents Mark World War I Anniversary". France News.Net. Retrieved 3 August 2014.
  4. ^ "France & Germany open new WWI memorial". Euronews. Retrieved 10 November 2014.

External linksEdit