German Fortifications and Defense Systems in WWII By J. E. Kaufman and H. W. Kaufman Illustrated by: Robert M. Jurga (309 Pages)Publisher: Da Cappo, 2003
The Atlantic Wall may be the most famous German World War II - era fortification line in Europe, but in fact Germany built many fortified defensive lines throughout the war, from coastal defenses along the English Channel to the celebrated West Wall and the hurriedly built East Wall. There are forts, bunkers, and defensive lines - many half-built because of Hitler's vacillating enthusiasm for defense - throughout the territory once occupied by Hitler's forces." "In the 1930s, to fortify the borders of the Reich, the German army began work on the West Wall, one of the most modern defensive lines of its time. By 1940s, as the Third Reich advanced well beyond its borders, Germany needed to create fortification lines throughout its occupied territory as well as establish new interior defense systems. Along the English Channel, the Reich began work on the Atlantic Wall, which stretched from the Arctic regions of Norway to the Franco-Spanish border. It was supported by U-boat bunkers and artillery positions for huge guns. The interior skies of the Reich were protected by a complicated defense system of nightfighters and antiaircraft units. And in German cities, great systems of bunkers were built to shelter civilians and military from Allied bombing raids." "It was not until late 1943 that Hitler realized he would also need an effective defense system to hold back the Soviet army. After the Soviet summer offensive of 1944, a number of new fortification lines - the New East Wall - were built to supplement old forts built decades earlier. As Allied armies threatened from the south, special defensive positions throughout the Balkans and Italy were also created." By protecting his Reich on all sides, Hitler had created the most fortified territory in history. And Fortress Third Reich is the first book to describe it all, in pictures and in words.
Includes 88 technical drawings, 17 detailed maps, and over 140 photos many never before published