The Atlantic Wall, History and Guide

B1792

The authors have made an exhaustive study of their subject and this must be the most complete account of the building and operation of the Atlantic Wall. Extensive illustration by drawings, sketches, maps and photographs through the body of the text has enabled the authors to show how the defences developed and the technologies employed to build the wall and the Allied developments to destroy it. Although the Atlantic Wall failed to keep the Allies out, it has left an extensive and impressive collection of fortifications on a scale to rival the Great Wall of China.

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NAME: The Atlantic Wall, History and Guide
CLASSIFICATION: Book Reviews
FILE: R1792
DATE: 18122
AUTHOR: J E Kaufmann, H W Kaufmann, A Jankovic-Potocnik, Vladimir Tonic
PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword
BINDING: hard back
PAGES: 368
PRICE: £25.00
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: Coast defences, bunkers, Altantic coast, Norway to Spain, WWII, Second World War, World War Two, coastal guns, coastal battery, railway guns, earthquake bombs, bunker busters, Tall Boy, Grand Slam
ISBN: 1-84884-387-9
IMAGE: B1792.jpg
BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/bpdoyyo
LINKS:
DESCRIPTION: German advances during the first year of WWII presented them with a major challenge in defending a coastline that extended from Norway’s North Cape, to the Franco Spanish border. Between 1942 and 1944, the Germans had built a complex network of coastal defence guns, bunkers, minefields, boat and tank obstacles, radar, communications and troop shelters. Within the description of “Atlantic Wall” would also come the heavily protected concrete U-Boat and E-Boat pens. Much of the construction was carried out using slave labour under the most brutal conditions. The cost of the construction program was enormous, but the defences were ultimately to prove incapable of fulfilling their objective of throwing any Allied attack back into the sea.
The difficulty with any fixed defence line is that an enemy will either find a way around the side of the defences, or develop the technology to attack the bunkers and walls. Barnes Wallis followed his design of dam-buster bombs with two significant bunker-busting bombs that were known as earthquake bombs. Using 5 and 10 ton bunker busting bombs, RAF Lancasters were able to penetrate even the massively thick reinforced concrete U-Boat pens. V1 launch sites were also attacked effectively with bombers and the V2 was to present a potentially serious threat because it was impossible to attack once launched and its launcher system was mobile.
When the time came to liberate Europe, the Allies used a combination of bombers and shore bombardment by naval warships against sections of the Atlantic Wall. Able to move the necessary number of aircraft and warships into attack range, the Allies could choose the point of attack and the Germans had to answer with whatever had been provided as defensive positions. The Allies chose a less heavily defended stretch of the Atlantic Wall for the D-Day landings. The Allies developed sectional harbours that could be floated across to remove the need to first seize heavily defended ports.
The authors have made an exhaustive study of their subject and this must be the most complete account of the building and operation of the Atlantic Wall. Extensive illustration by drawings, sketches, maps and photographs through the body of the text has enabled the authors to show how the defences developed and the technologies employed to build the wall and the Allied developments to destroy it. Although the Atlantic Wall failed to keep the Allies out, it has left an extensive and impressive collection of fortifications on a scale to rival the Great Wall of China.

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