Rendez-vous in the ‘Kaiser Tunnel’ near Lachalade
The Kaiser Tunnel, named after the German emperor, is situated near Clermont-en-Argonne at Haute Chevauchée and, as the name indicates, was constructed by the German command. It was used as a shelter from French artillery fire and is a reminder of the underground network hewn out of the Argonne siliceous rock during the First World War with the aim of moving troops to the Front. There are a number of structures still remaining, for example the telephone exchange, generators for supplying electricity and a hospital facility with an operating theatre.
The tunnels had a connecting network for ferrying equipment and supplies to the Front, with a main artery of 350 metres long and galleries with a length of 450 metres, giving a total length of 800 metres. It was closed in 1918 when the German army retreated, blowing up the entrances.
The Kaiser Tunnel is closed at the moment for renovation.