This is the most comprehensive account of the Maginot Line in 1940 and later in WWII. The Maginot Line suffered the basic weakness of all fixed defences but it also offered benefits– highly recommended.
NAME: The Battle for the Maginot Line 1940 FILE: R2621 AUTHOR: Clayton Donnell PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword BINDING:hard back PAGES: 282 PRICE: £25.00 GENRE: Non Fiction SUBJECT: WWII, World War II, World War 2, Second World War, fixed defences, Maginot Line, German attacks, airborne troops, frontal assault, US troops, Italian attacks ISBN: 1-47387-728-8 IMAGE: B2621.jpg BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/y9wdnnnk LINKS: DESCRIPTION: This is the most comprehensive account of the Maginot Line in 1940 and later in WWII. The Maginot Line suffered the basic weakness of all fixed defences but it also offered benefits– highly recommended. The Maginot Line, and its German counterpart the Siegfried Line, were products of the fear of another trench war with its very costly human and war materials attrition. Both lines suffered the constraints that made them an incomplete defence. The French built the Maginot Line from the Mediterranean to the Belgian border but, for political and financial reasons, decided to rely on the Belgian defences to complete the barrier to German invasion. Inevitably, the Germans just rolled through Belgium and into France as they had twice before, the Franco-Prussian War, and WWI. As a fixed defence, the Maginot Line depended on the enemy making a frontal attack because the defences could not adapt to any innovative enemy assault. In the original concept, the French Generals assumed that they would have an effective mobile reserve that could be rushed to reinforce parts of the Line under very heavy attack or to stop and mop up any enemy units that managed to find a way through. Unfortunately, that reserve was never adequate and was further reduced to save money from 1919 to 1939. Equally, the French Air Force was never maintained and developed to maintain air superiority over the line and threaten German troops attempting to approach the defences. Air cover was deficient in numbers of aircraft, performance of those aircraft that were on strength, and in training, but the greatest deficiency was the lack of a command and control system with radar of the type used so effectively by Britain for home defence in 1940. The author has covered the background and wartime use of the Maginot Line, providing the conditions in which the defenders lived. The account questions the common assumptions about the Line's effectiveness and its impact on the German assault. One common assumption is that the line was a continuous line from the Mediterranean to the North Sea, a sophisticated version of the open trench line of WWII. In reality, it was a series of forts that were linked to bunkers accommodating troops and attending to their basic needs, with underground trains taking them to their fighting positions. In reality, the strength of the Line was not constant along its length and had no defence against bombing and vertical assault. Although the Maginot Line failed completely to halt a German invasion, it did withstand assault by Italian troops in its Alpine sections. It was also used with some effect by the Germans to slow down the US troops in 1944 as they advanced on Germany. The Siegfried Line was also an obstacle for British and US troops, although the Germans did have some trouble in finding the keys as the Allies approached. This is a fascinating study and the text is supported by a good selection of images.