The Silent Attack, The Fallschirmjager Capture The Bridges of Veldwezelt, Vaoenhoven & Hanne 1940

The Battle of France depended on surprise attack by large mechanized 
and armoured forces. This depended on attack through Belgium, and 
that depended on overwhelming the Belgian forts guarding key river 
crossings.  The authors have produced an enthralling account of how 
German Special Forces fought to take and hold the key river crossings 
to allow the main German Army to swarm into France. 
Very Highly Recommended.

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NAME: The Silent Attack, The Fallschirmjager Capture The Bridges of 
Veldwezelt, Vaoenhoven & Hanne 1940
FILE: R2386
AUTHOR:  Oscar Gonzalez, Thomas Steinke, Ian Tannahill
PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword
BINDING: hard back 
PAGES:  371
PRICE: £30.00
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: WWII. World War 2, Second World War, World War Two, Special 
Forces, paratroops, glider troops, vertical insertion, blitz krieg, 
land forces, fortifications, Low Countries
ISBN: 1-78159-385-X
IMAGE: B2386.jpg
BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/jl5amug
LINKS: Current Discount Offers http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/sale 
DESCRIPTION: The Battle of France depended on surprise attack by large 
mechanized and armoured forces. This depended on attack through 
Belgium, and that depended on overwhelming the Belgian forts guarding 
key river crossings.  The authors have produced an enthralling account 
of how German Special Forces fought to take and hold the key river 
crossings to allow the main German Army to swarm into France. 
Very Highly Recommended.

Fixed defences are always exactly that – immovable and defensive. They 
can survive only if they are able to obtain fresh supplies of food, 
water and arms. They also have to be able to defend against all 
possible attacks. Any weakness, and the fixed defences become a trap 
for those manning them. The other critical factor is being able to 
provide defensive positions that have no unguarded flank.

After WWI, the French considered a prepared trench line that employed 
heavily protected elements, armoured against attack and supplied by a 
network of bomb proof underground railways, would avoid the terrible 
conflict of WWI. Many considered the Maginot Line would be a deterrent 
which would be so strong that the Germans would never even consider any 
future land attack on France. The first point of failure was that the 
Maginot Line failed to stretch West from the Swiss border, all the 
way to the Channel Coast. There have been several different theories 
about this case and perhaps all theories include some fact. Some 
believed that the French Government became very concerned about the 
rising cost of the work and were looking for ways to cost costs. Others 
considered that the French were reluctant to increase Belgian fears 
that they would be abandoned to German occupation if the Maginot Line 
continued West along the Belgian border. What often escapes 
consideration is that French politicians had already spent the 'peace 
dividend' by arguing that the Maginot Line removed the need for strong 
mobile reserves behind it.

No one had seriously considered the potential threat posed by German 
airborne forces. In fairness, no one had yet tried to employ vertical 
troop insertion and there was no data available to consider the threat. 
As a result, the Maginot Line was planned as a defensive position that 
could defend against frontal attack. In that respect it was a design 
success and any German attempt to make frontal attacks to create a 
breach, that their troops could pour through into France, would have 
been prohibitively costly in lives and equipment. Similarly, the Belgian 
forts that had been built to command all the key river crossings from 
Germany were planned to defend against frontal attack and were formidable 
defences in that respect.

Inevitably, a potential enemy will always plan to defeat any defensive 
positions. As fixed positions, they can be viewed, mapped, photographed 
and recorded. The enemy is then able to plan how a defeat of the positions
might be achieved at an acceptable cost. The Germans realised that they 
could use paratroops and glider troops to seize critical bridges and 
fixed fortifications very quickly before the enemy knew what was
happening. They trained extensively and the execution of the plans went 
very smoothly. The Germans then had to defend those bridges and positions 
while their main army poured through on their way into France.

The authors have described all of the interlocking elements and how they 
produced outstanding success. There are a great many rare photographs 
through the body of the book and the standard of illustration is excellent.