Atlantic Wall


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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.
Scores of fortifications were removed from the Frenchbuilt Maginot Line, along France's border with Germany, and from its German-built counterpart, the Siegfried Line, for use in the Atlantic Wall.
The Durhams were part Northumbrian Division, one of the last formations to embark from Dunkirk four years earlier and now they would be amongst the first to punch a hole through the Atlantic Wall.
Another outing was to the German defences at the Atlantic Wall and the archaeological site at Wal Raversijde before spending some time on the beach.
Zaloga's THE ATLANTIC WALL (2) (9781846033933, $18.
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.
Five top prizes, which each include a monetary award of 10,000, will be presented in the following categories: Conservation of Architectural Heritage' to the Sarica Church in Cappadocia (Turkey); Conservation of Cultural Landscapes' to Santo Stefano di Sessanio near l'Aquila (Italy); Conservation of Works of Art' to the Farbdiaarchiv zur Wand- und Deckenmalerei (Germany); Outstanding Studies' to The Atlantic Wall Linear Museum (Italy-Belgium-France); Dedicated Service' to the Mihai Eminescu Trust (Romania-United Kingdom).
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.
The Islanders would have been unavoidable 'collateral damage' as the victorious Allies contemplated subduing the most heavily armed and defended part of the Atlantic Wall, one which had not been breached following D-Day.

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