Fortress France: The Maginot Line and French Defenses in World War II

Overview

  • Guide to the French defenses encountered by the German blitzkrieg in 1940
  • Includes finely detailed plans, diagrams, and schematics of forts, blockhouses, turrets, artillery pieces, tanks, and more

Between the world wars, France constructed a vast and complex array of defenses designed to prevent German forces from penetrating the French heartland as they had during World War I. Among these was the famous Maginot Line, the last of the great ...

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Overview

  • Guide to the French defenses encountered by the German blitzkrieg in 1940
  • Includes finely detailed plans, diagrams, and schematics of forts, blockhouses, turrets, artillery pieces, tanks, and more

Between the world wars, France constructed a vast and complex array of defenses designed to prevent German forces from penetrating the French heartland as they had during World War I. Among these was the famous Maginot Line, the last of the great gun-bearing fortifications, but France also built defenses along its coasts and in its territories in North Africa. Fully illustrated with photos, maps, and drawings, Fortress France describes the design and construction of these fortifications, discusses French defensive doctrine and strategy, and explains why these efforts proved unable to stop the German attack in the spring of 1940.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780811733953
  • Publisher: Stackpole Books
  • Publication date: 12/28/2007
  • Series: Stackpole Military History Series
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 1,201,195
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

J. E. Kaufmann is a freelance researcher. He has published several books on fortifications and is the founder of Site O, an international group devoted to the study of fortifications. He lives in Texas.

H. W. Kaufmann is an instructor at San Antonio College. He lives in Texas.

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Table of Contents

Ch. 1 Marching to the wrong tune 1
Sidebar : Charles de Gaulle and mechanized warfare 7
Sidebar : economic considerations 11
Sidebar : building on experience 15
Sidebar : French generals and marshals and ministers of war 16
Ch. 2 The Maginot Line 19
Sidebar : initial funding of the fortifications 21
Sidebar : optics for fire control and surveillance 44
Ch. 3 Closing the gaps from the North Sea to the Mediterranean 69
Sidebar : equipment used for the construction of the fortifications 79
Sidebar : positioning the forts of the Maginot Line 81
Sidebar : final costs for the Maginot Line 91
Sidebar : Maginot fort garrisons 92
Ch. 4 Sea and air defenses 95
Sidebar : Georges Leygues, Minister of the Navy 96
Sidebar : airbases and air units 111
Ch. 5 The march to defeat 115
Sidebar : public expectations 134
Ch. 6 The French Army and the Maginot Line at war 147
Sidebar : the French Air Force unprepared? 153
Sidebar : French tank doctrine 154
Sidebar : Sumner Waite's account of tank maneuvers 155
Ch. 7 Conclusion 181
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2009

    Best Book on the Maginot Line - BUY THE PAPERBACK

    This certainly is the best book in English on the Maginot Line and other French fortifications of World War II. It includes an overview of the fortifications with somewhat detailed descriptions of what the Maignot Line Complex consisted of along with its oerational history in the war. There are many illustrations showing what the French forts looked like from plans to crosssectional views. The book has maps, including some showing combat operations. The descriptions go beyond the Maginot Line to include coastal fortifications and some material on the Mareth Line in North Africa. Also, there is information on the French armed forces to provide provide a larger view of the military situation in 1939-1940. There are some other books in Enlgish, including by the same authors, but none as good as this one. I made the error of purchasing the hardcover which has NO PHOTOGRAPHS. I found this paperback is identical to the hardcover, except it INCLUDE PHOTOGRAPHS and is a fracton of the price. The paperback edition has everything the hardcover does, but also includes DOZENS OF PHOTOGRAPHS including some aerial photos of the forts (taken by the Germans), photos of equipment and weapons used in the fortifications, and photos of some of the fortifications - exterior and interior.
    I have found it rather strange, that unlike the hardcover, the paperback has a photo of an armored artillery battery that was not part of one of the Maginot Line. Then again, the book is not about the Maginot Line only. I strongly encourage anyone interest in this aspect of World War II to find themselves a copy of this book.

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