The Maginot Line

The Maginot Line

"The Maginot Line, the complex system of strongpoints constructed between the world wars by the French to protect against attack from Germany, is one of the most famous, extensive and controversial defensive schemes in all military history.

Author: J. E. Kaufmann

Publisher: Casemate Publishers

ISBN: 9781848840683

Category: History

Page: 308

View: 796

"The Maginot Line, the complex system of strongpoints constructed between the world wars by the French to protect against attack from Germany, is one of the most famous, extensive and controversial defensive schemes in all military history. It stretched from Belgium to Switzerland, and from Switzerland to the Mediterranean, and it represented the most advanced and ambitious system of static defenses of its time. Much of this historic line -- with its fortresses, artillery positions, barbed-wire networks, casemates, concrete bunkers -- has survived and can be visited today ... The strategic thinking that gave rise to this enormous feat of military engineering is described, as is the planning, design, and construction of the line -- and its operational history. Each of the key sites is described in detail, and visitor information and plans are provided"--Jacket.
Categories: History

Maginot Line 1940

Maginot Line 1940

This book uses new maps and period photographs to tell the story of the five German operations launched against the Maginot Line.

Author: Marc Romanych

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN: 9781782008743

Category: History

Page: 96

View: 375

Constructed throughout the 1930s, the Maginot Line was supposed to form the ultimate defence against a German invasion of France. However, different sections of the line were built at different times and the strength of various sections varied widely. During their Blitzkrieg invasion, the Germans were able to identify these weak points and focus their attacks against them. This book uses new maps and period photographs to tell the story of the five German operations launched against the Maginot Line. While the Germans were able to smash through the lightly defended section of the line along the Meuse River, at other points the line held. Although ultimately the Maginot Line was to prove a failure, the stiff resistance put up by some of the fortresses confirms the fighting ability of the French army during the invasion.
Categories: History

The Maginot Line

The Maginot Line

The popular legend of the Maginot Line portrays the frontier defenses as a useless "white elephant" project that was prompted by a gross misapprehension of warfare's new realities in the mid-20th century and quickly overwhelmed by the ...

Author: Charles River Charles River Editors

Publisher: CreateSpace

ISBN: 1514381656

Category:

Page: 52

View: 854

*Includes pictures *Explains the origins of the Maginot Line, its construction, and the World War II fighting around it *Includes online resources and a bibliography for further reading *Includes a table of contents "We could hardly dream of building a kind of Great Wall of France, which would in any case be far too costly. Instead we have foreseen powerful but flexible means of organizing defense, based on the dual principle of taking full advantage of the terrain and establishing a continuous line of fire everywhere." - Andre Maginot As the power of Nazi Germany grew alarmingly during the 1930s, the French sought means to defend their territory against the rising menace of the Thousand-Year Reich. As architects of the most punitive measures in the Treaty of Versailles following World War I, the French government made natural targets for Teutonic retribution, so the Maginot Line, a series of interconnected strongpoints and fortifications running along much of France's eastern border, helped allay French fears of invasion. The popular legend of the Maginot Line portrays the frontier defenses as a useless "white elephant" project that was prompted by a gross misapprehension of warfare's new realities in the mid-20th century and quickly overwhelmed by the forceful advance of the German blitzkrieg. English idiom today invokes this vision of the Maginot Line as a metaphor for any defensive measure strongly believed in but actually useless. Indeed, usages such as "Maginot Line mentality," describing an overly defensive, reactive mindset, perpetuate the legend. As a French author and military liaison with the British, Andre Maurois, wrote about his disillusionment with the defensive line he originally enthusiastically supported: "We know now that the Maginot line-complex was a dangerous disease of the mind; but I publish this as it was written in January, 1940." In reality, however, the actual Maginot Line proved considerably more functional than memory has served. The true flaw in French military strategy during the opening days of World War II lay not in reliance on the Maginot fortifications but in the army's neglect to exploit the military opportunities the Line created. In other words, the border defense performed as envisioned, but the other military arms supported it insufficiently to halt the Germans. The French Army squandered the opportunity not because the Maginot Line existed but because they failed to utilize their own defensive plan properly. Some French commentary contributed to the legend, but the bloviating of politicians altered nothing regarding the Maginot Line's actual purpose or history: "General Maurin, defended the status quo in these words: '[H]ow could one think that we are still thinking about an offensive when we have spent billions to establish a fortified barrier? Would we be mad enough to advance beyond this barrier to undertake some adventure?' [...] but the Maginot Line had never been conceived as a sort of Great Wall of China sealing France off from the outside world. Its purpose was to free manpower for offensive operations elsewhere." (Jackson, 2004, 27). In fact, a forgotten battle in the southeast of France, where four French divisions (later reduced to three by the redeployment of one northwards in a futile effort to stem the German tide) held off 32 Italian divisions thanks to the defensive power of the so-called "Little Maginot Line of the Alps," proved the soundness of both the concept and engineering. Though the Italians suffered from poor equipment and the meddling incompetence of Mussolini's personal "leadership," the fighting on the Alpine front brilliantly highlighted the Maginot Line's success as a "force multiplier." French soldiers held off brave but futile Italian attacks at odds of 8:1 or 10:1 in favor of the Italians for five days until an armistice with the Axis put an end to this undeniable display of the Maginot Line's effectiveness.
Categories:

The Maginot Line

The Maginot Line

The popular legend of the Maginot Line portrays the frontier defenses as a useless "white elephant" project that was prompted by a gross misapprehension of warfare's new realities in the mid-20th century and quickly overwhelmed by the ...

Author: Charles River Charles River Editors

Publisher:

ISBN: 1542768799

Category:

Page: 66

View: 965

*Includes pictures *Explains the origins of the Maginot Line, its construction, and the World War II fighting around it *Includes online resources and a bibliography for further reading *Includes a table of contents "We could hardly dream of building a kind of Great Wall of France, which would in any case be far too costly. Instead we have foreseen powerful but flexible means of organizing defense, based on the dual principle of taking full advantage of the terrain and establishing a continuous line of fire everywhere." - Andre Maginot As the power of Nazi Germany grew alarmingly during the 1930s, the French sought means to defend their territory against the rising menace of the Thousand-Year Reich. As architects of the most punitive measures in the Treaty of Versailles following World War I, the French government made natural targets for Teutonic retribution, so the Maginot Line, a series of interconnected strongpoints and fortifications running along much of France's eastern border, helped allay French fears of invasion. The popular legend of the Maginot Line portrays the frontier defenses as a useless "white elephant" project that was prompted by a gross misapprehension of warfare's new realities in the mid-20th century and quickly overwhelmed by the forceful advance of the German blitzkrieg. English idiom today invokes this vision of the Maginot Line as a metaphor for any defensive measure strongly believed in but actually useless. Indeed, usages such as "Maginot Line mentality," describing an overly defensive, reactive mindset, perpetuate the legend. As a French author and military liaison with the British, Andre Maurois, wrote about his disillusionment with the defensive line he originally enthusiastically supported: "We know now that the Maginot line-complex was a dangerous disease of the mind; but I publish this as it was written in January, 1940." In reality, however, the actual Maginot Line proved considerably more functional than memory has served. The true flaw in French military strategy during the opening days of World War II lay not in reliance on the Maginot fortifications but in the army's neglect to exploit the military opportunities the Line created. In other words, the border defense performed as envisioned, but the other military arms supported it insufficiently to halt the Germans. The French Army squandered the opportunity not because the Maginot Line existed but because they failed to utilize their own defensive plan properly. Some French commentary contributed to the legend, but the bloviating of politicians altered nothing regarding the Maginot Line's actual purpose or history: "General Maurin, defended the status quo in these words: '[H]ow could one think that we are still thinking about an offensive when we have spent billions to establish a fortified barrier? Would we be mad enough to advance beyond this barrier to undertake some adventure?' [...] but the Maginot Line had never been conceived as a sort of Great Wall of China sealing France off from the outside world. Its purpose was to free manpower for offensive operations elsewhere." (Jackson, 2004, 27). In fact, a forgotten battle in the southeast of France, where four French divisions (later reduced to three by the redeployment of one northwards in a futile effort to stem the German tide) held off 32 Italian divisions thanks to the defensive power of the so-called "Little Maginot Line of the Alps," proved the soundness of both the concept and engineering. Though the Italians suffered from poor equipment and the meddling incompetence of Mussolini's personal "leadership," the fighting on the Alpine front brilliantly highlighted the Maginot Line's success as a "force multiplier." French soldiers held off brave but futile Italian attacks at odds of 8:1 or 10:1 in favor of the Italians for five days until an armistice with the Axis put an end to this undeniable display of the Maginot Line's effectiveness.
Categories:

Fortress France

Fortress France

Discusses the gun-bearing fortifications and coastal defenses of France created between the world wars and challenges the premise that the defeat of France in World War II was the result of a misplaced reliance on the Maginot Line for its ...

Author: J. E. Kaufmann

Publisher: Stackpole Books

ISBN: 0811733955

Category: History

Page: 201

View: 842

Discusses the gun-bearing fortifications and coastal defenses of France created between the world wars and challenges the premise that the defeat of France in World War II was the result of a misplaced reliance on the Maginot Line for its defense.
Categories: History

The Maginot Line 1928 45

The Maginot Line 1928   45

Yet there are those who argue that it accomplished exactly what it was designed to do. This book provides a concise and informative treatment of the Maginot Line, from North-East France to the Mediterranean.

Author: William Allcorn

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN: 9781782001423

Category: History

Page: 64

View: 692

The Maginot Line, the massive series of fortifications built by France in the 1930s to defend its borders with Germany and Italy, is perhaps the most maligned collection of fortifications ever built. Despite being a technological marvel, and the most sophisticated and complex set of fortifications built up to that time, it failed to save France from crushing defeat in 1940. Yet there are those who argue that it accomplished exactly what it was designed to do. This book provides a concise and informative treatment of the Maginot Line, from North-East France to the Mediterranean. Packed with plans, contemporary and modern images, plus digital artwork, it presents a detailed visual exploration of this famous fortification system.
Categories: History