From 1870, after the end of the Franco-Prussian War, it became clear that one of the belligerent armies, that is, France and Germany (unified in 1871), would not hesitate to cross the border. Belgium to attack the other. Indeed, France, having lost Alsace and Lorraine, built a barrier of forts in the east, facing Germany. Germany, not to remain defenseless, also built a line of forts against France. The result was a barrier of forts difficult to cross.

Looking at a map, it became clear that in a future conflict, Belgium would not be spared; all the more so as the lines of communication between the two great rival powers passed along the Meuse and the Sambre. These roads, ie roads and railroads, were indispensable for supplying and supplying an army on the march.

In order to defend the neutrality of the country against the rise of the armies of the two great rival powers, France and Germany, and their growing aggressiveness, the Belgian government decided to build the twenty-one forts in Namur and Liège. , and strengthen the place of Antwerp, city became the "National Reduit".

The government of the time, unwilling to reshape and reorganize the Belgian Army, to change the system of military service and buy weapons, preferred, at lower political and financial costs, follow the recommendations of General Alexis Brialmont, that is to say build forts around Liège and Namur, Huy and Visée (the last two were not built, for economy).

 The purpose of the construction of the forts was mainly to protect the main lines of communication between Germany and France and thus prohibit the use of these axes (roads, railways, rivers, bridges) to the belligerents. The Field Army, meanwhile, was to curb the enemy, make a retreat to Antwerp and wait for the arrival of friendly troops who were, according to the Treaty of London (1839) to come to our aid.

The other missions of the forts were: to ensure the freedom of maneuver of the Army of campaign by protecting the bridges, to prohibit the enemy from seizing of Namur, military logistics center (blowing snow, manufactures of guns, ...), to support the troops of interval, to prohibit to the enemy the use of the axes leading to Namur, to ensure the counter-battery, to ensure a mutual support between forts, to ensure its own defense against direct attacks, ... A little too many missions, of elsewhere !

All the forts were designed by General Henri Alexis Brialmont and implement a non-reinforced concrete, material quite innovative at the time. To build the twenty-one strong, General Brialmont used all the technical processes invented at the end of the 19th century, namely electricity (lighting, projector), hydraulic (lighthouse), retractable cupolas, cupolas shielded roof, telephone, drinking water from a well and distributed in the fort, drainage of condensation ...

The Emines Fort is located in the north-west of the city and is considered one of the "small" forts of the NFP

 

Afin de défendre la neutralité du pays contre la montée en puissance des armées des deux grandes puissances rivales, la France et l’Allemagne, et leur agressivité croissante, le gouvernement belge décida de construire les vingt-et-un forts à Namur et à Liège, et de renforcer la place d’Anvers, ville devenue le « Réduit national ». 

Le gouvernement de l’époque, peu désireux de remodeler et de réorganiser l’Armée belge, de modifier le système du service militaire et d’acheter de l’armement, préféra, à moindre coûts politique et financier, suivre les recommandations du Général Alexis Brialmont, c’est-à-dire construire des forts autour de Liège et de Namur, à Huy et à Visée (les deux derniers ne furent pas construits, par économie).

 Le but de la construction des forts était principalement de protéger les principaux axes de communication entre l’Allemagne et la France et ainsi interdire l’usage de ces axes (routes, voies ferrées, fleuves, ponts) aux belligérants. L’Armée de campagne, quant à elle, devait freiner l’ennemi, effectuer une retraite vers Anvers et attendre l’arrivée des troupes amies qui devaient, selon le Traité de Londres (1839) accourir à notre secours..

 

Tous les forts ont été conçus par le général Henri Alexis Brialmont et mettent en œuvre un béton non-armé, matériau assez novateur à l'époque. Pour construire les vingt-et-un forts, le Général Brialmont utilisa tous les procédés techniques inventés en cette fin de 19ème siècle, à savoir l’électricité (éclairage, projecteur), l’hydraulique (phare), les coupoles rétractables, les coupoles blindées protégées en toit, le téléphone, l’eau potable venant d’un puits et répartie dans le fort, le drainage des eaux de condensation, … 

Le Fort d’Emines est positionné au nord-ouest de la ville et est considéré comme l'un des "petits" forts de la PFN.