New Publication – West Wall


Following the 1914-18 War, France and Germany decided to build fixed fortifications along their common border. Both lines of fortifications required considerable investment but neither provided a complete line of defence because they were not taken all the way to the coast, leaving Belgium and the Netherlands as a bypass route around the end of the fortifications. In 1940, the German Army sped for Paris, taking the route through Belgium and avoiding the well-engineered French Maginot line. Having taken the West Coast of Europe from the Spanish border to the Norwegian North Cape, Hitler decided to build a line of fortifications along the coastline, providing heavy defences from Normandy to the Belgian border. The Siegfried Line became redundant because the Germans expected to hurl any Allied attack on the coast back into the sea. By superior resources and innovative preparations, the Allies managed to establish a beach head in Normandy in 1944 and then begin the breakout towards Germany and final victory. The Siegfried Line suddenly became important to the defence of Germany.

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