Germany's East Wall in World War II

Germany's East Wall in World War II


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The East Wall was where the final battles for the stricken Third Reich were fought, amid scenes of utter carnage. Beginning life at the end of World War I, the wall became a pet project of Adolf Hitler's, whose ascent to power saw building work accelerated, with plans for a grand, 'Maginot-style' defence put in place. But with a characteristically erratic change of heart, Hitler began to systematically strip the wall of its best defensive assets to bolster the Atlantic Wall, never dreaming that he would face an attack on two fronts. Despite belated and somewhat bungled reinforcements later in the War, the Eastern Wall would face a monstrous challenge as it became the Reich's last redoubt in the face of the mighty Soviet war machine.

Neil Short brings his expert knowledge to bear with an analysis of different stages of the wall's construction, the years of neglect and decay and the hasty, drastic redevelopment in the face of the looming Soviet threat.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781472805867
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Publication date: 07/21/2015
Series: Fortress Series , #108
Pages: 64
Product dimensions: 7.10(w) x 9.60(h) x 0.20(d)

About the Author

Neil Short gained a Master's Degree in Military History at the University of Leeds, after completing an Honours Degree in History at the University of Lancaster. He is a fully qualified Management Accountant working for the Ministry of Defence, but in his spare time undertakes research on World War II. The author lives in Bristol, UK.

Table of Contents

Introduction 4

Chronology 6

Design and Development 8

German tradition of fortifications in the East

World War I

The inter war period

The Nazi era

World War II - the years of advance

World War II - the years of retreat

The Principles of Defence 19


Operational factors

Tactical aspects

Tour of the Sites 28


Water defences

Passive defences

Tobruk pit

Koch pots

The Living Site 32

Pre-war - Border guards



Operational History 43


Aftermath 53

The Sites Today 56

Travel advice


Entry requirements



Safety considerations

Other sites of interest

Bibliography 61

Glossary and Abbreviations 62

Index 64

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