The Battle for the Maginot Line 1940

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.


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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.