Atlantic Wall


Also found in: Dictionary, Wikipedia.

Atlantic Wall

 

a system of permanent fortifications, combined with field fortifications, built by the Germans from 1940 to 1944, after the defeat of France; more than 4,000 km long, it ran along the European coast of the Atlantic Ocean from Denmark to the Spanish frontier.

The Atlantic Wall was built to prevent an invasion of the continent by Anglo-American troops. The Atlantic Wall was to be completed within eight years, and 15,000 permanent fortifications were to be erected. Construction actually began in 1942, and by the end of 1943 only 20 percent of the works had been completed. The Atlantic Wall was a linear fortifications system (without distribution in depth), with long stretches of weakly fortified sectors; this made the wall as a whole a weak defense system during the invasion of the Anglo-American forces. The well-fortified regions were the Belgian coast, Pas-de-Calais, Cape Gris Nez, the mouth of the Seine, the Guernsey and Jersey islands, Brest, and Lori-ent. Mobile reserves were also deployed here. The coast of Normandy had weak garrisons, with only observation and command posts, and with one artillery battery for every 20 km of shoreline. The size of the troops deployed for the defense of the Atlantic Wall was insufficient: the 700-km line from the mouth of the Schelde to the mouth of the Seine was guarded by the Fifteenth Army, composed of 14 divisions, and the 1,600-km line from the mouth of the Seine to the mouth of the Loire by the Seventh Army, composed of eight divisions. The fighting capacities of the divisions were low (so-called stationary divisions). On the whole, the Atlantic Wall did not justify the hopes of the German fascist command of forestalling a landing or of prolonging resistance to it, although it enabled the Germans to cover the western front from 1940 to 1944 with small numbers of second-rate troops while using their main forces on the Soviet-German front.

I. M. GLAGOLEV

References in periodicals archive ?
One must also wonder whether information obtained from a "test" of the German coastal defences in the summer of 1942 was still relevant in 1944, especially since it was mostly in 1943 that the formidable Atlantic Wall fortifications had been built.
Sealander, an exhibition first shown in Zurich and now at Walsall's New Art Gallery, consists of a series of giant black-and-white photographs and a video installation, also in black-and-white, which continues the theme by exploring the German bunkers on the Normandy cast which formed part of Hitler's so-called Atlantic Wall during the Second World War.
HITLER'S ATLANTIC WALL by Anthony Saunders (9780705945547) is, surprisingly, the first substantial analysis in English, examining the history of the wall, how it was built, and what role it played in the war.
But nervousness remained and across the Atlantic Wall Street's benchmark Dow Jones Industrial Average was around 15 points off its opening mark as trading in London closed, while the Nasdaq also hovered just inside negative territory.
Mr Sterne, from Manchester, had unearthed a huge complex that was part of Hitler's formidable Atlantic Wall, a coastal defence system wiped out with D-Day and the ensuing Allied invasion.
In the Second World War it became part of the Atlantic Wall where you can now walk through around two kilometres of trenches and tunnels to see gun emplacements and bunkers from the first and second wars.
My view of reality is different because I breached his Atlantic Wall of self-protection for the simple reason that I too had been an automotive journalist.
The German dust jacket speaks of some of the characters as being wrecked on the Atlantic wall, but I fail to see who they are.
Professor Mitcham sketches the general outline of the story and critiques the important decisions and events of the spring and summer of 1944, such as the design and construction of the Atlantic Wall, the positioning of defensive forces, command and control structures, reactions to the Allied landings, and the eventual withdrawal of German forces to the Seine River.
Decentralized information stormed the beaches on June 6, 1944, and irreparably breached the Atlantic Wall by dusk.
Mindful of the booby-trapped beaches, Eisenhower knew he had to attack at low tide just after dawn, when the full extent of Rommel's deadly Atlantic Wall would be exposed.

Full browser ?