Recently I had the opportunity to visit friends who had moved to France, flying to Basel, we drove down the motorway through Alsace, you can see a graffiti covered pillbox in the shot below.
The Romans were also here, all that remains of the town of Epomanduodurum is the amphitheatre.
Most significantly, the city of Belfort was besieged three times during the nineteenth century, twice during the Napoleonic wars and once more in the Franco Prussian War. The statue below commemorates the leaders in each of those sieges.
The city was protected by fortifications designed by Vauban. The city successfully resisted the Prussians and the defenders marched out with their weapons after the armistice. Because of this success, this part of Alsace was not handed over to new German empire.
After the 1871 war, the French built more forts in this area, their large cannon would give mutually supporting fire. This example Fort du Mont Bart was only open to school parties on the day we were passing.
The French like to leave anachronistic vehicles at their historical sites, Belfort had a Sherman, Mont Bart had this Panhard EBR.