HomeThe project TIPERETAMAT military site

icone HistoriqueEtamat military site

The city of Thouars has a long military history due to the presence of numerous barracks and a powder warehouse. Created in 1916, the ERGMu (General Reserve of Ammunitions) was called afterwards ETAMAT (Establishment of the Land forces Equipment). For a long time, it have been part of the local landscape and its activity influenced the life of the community. Thouars' service of the Architecture and Heritages redrew the history of this military establishment which gave rhythm until 2000 to the local life.

Building of an ammunitions warehouse

It is October 21st, 1916, that an order from the prefect of the Deux-Sèvres authorised the creation of a park with ammunitions in Thouars. We suppose that the decision to create a warehouse, not far from the harbour of La Palice in La Rochelle and near an important railway knot, allowed to store ammunitions coming from America, before their forwarding towards battle zones. The site of Thouars has different advantages: easy access to the ocean, important railway station (direct connections with Paris and Tours in particular), extended railway network that goes largely besides the storage zones. The warehouse was composed by four groups of storages and a group of workshops.

Photo aérienne présentant les 5 groupes de l'ETAMATFrom 1917 till 1923, the first three groups of the ETAMAT were constructed and buildings, such as the Carnoy barracks were built. The camp had then a global area of 56 hectares: the security ammunitions were situated on the lands of Thouars (group I), the explosive shells on the lands of Saint-Léger-de-Montbrun (group II), and powders were stored in the territory of the municipality of Louzy (group III). There were 70 stores of diverse types among which 15 powder magazines and certain number of wooden stores. In this same period the workshop of restoration was born in the group IV.

The military staff consisted of 150 men, accompanied with hundred of civil employees.

In 1934, the safety polygon, then called polygon of isolation, was set up.

In October, 1935, the army purchased the fields necessary for the construction of the group V. It will be the last storage group to be created.