Defense of the Rhine 1944-45

Defense of the Rhine 1944-45


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The Rhine River represented the last natural defensive barrier for the Third Reich in the fall of 1944. Although Hitler had been reluctant to allow the construction of tactical defense lines in France, the final defense of the Reich was another matter. As a result, construction of a Rhine defense line began in September 1944. Steven J Zaloga examines the multiple phases of construction undertaken to strengthen the Westwall (Siegfried Line), to fortify many of the border villages, and finally to prepare for the demolition of the Rhine bridges. Using detailed maps, color artwork, and expert analysis, this book takes a detailed look at Germany's last line of defense.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781849083874
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Publication date: 03/22/2011
Series: Fortress Series
Pages: 64
Sales rank: 1,221,048
Product dimensions: 7.10(w) x 9.60(h) x 0.30(d)

About the Author

Steven J. Zaloga received his BA in history from Union College and his MA from Columbia University. He has worked as an analyst in the aerospace industry for over two decades, covering missile systems and the international arms trade, and has served with the Institute for Defense Analyses, a federal think-tank. He is the author of numerous books on military technology and military history, with an accent on the US Army in World War II as well as Russia and the former Soviet Union.

Table of Contents

Introduction 4

Design and Development 6

The Westwall legacy

Fortification in the foreground of the Rhine Starting the West-Stellung

Organizing the defense of the Rhine West-Stellung design

Principles of defense

Arming the West-Stellung Rhine Panzer-Stellung

The Living Sites 34

Building the West-Stellung

Troops for the West-Stellung

A Tour of the Sites

Lower Rhine defenses: Heeresgruppe H

Lower Rhine and Eifel defenses: Heeresgruppe B

The Saarland: Heeresgruppe G

Alsace: Heeresgruppe G

The Rhein-Stellung

The Sites in Battle 48


The Sites Today 61

Further Reading 61

Index 64

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