a zone or section of ground with permanent and field fortifications, various types of obstacles, and a system of fire; also, a garrison of special forces designated for independent actions or joint actions with field forces.
Fortified regions were established to cover sections of a country’s border, operationally and strategically important axes or installations, and political and industrial centers. They were first built after World War I to replace the obsolete system of fortresses. Permanent fortified regions had a system of strong, intricate, reinforced-concrete, and armored fortifications with special artillery and machine-gun emplacements. Field fortified regions consisted primarily of earth-and-stone and earth-and-timber structures adapted to the regular weapons of field forces.
The theory of the fortified region was developed in various works by the Soviet military engineers F. I. Golenkin, S. A. Khmel’kov, N. I. Kokhanov, and others, as well as those of foreign authors, such as F. Kühlmann. The first field fortified regions were built by the Red Army during the Civil War of 1918–20 to cover the approaches to Moscow, Petrograd, Samara, and other important and industrial centers.
Prior to World War II, fortified regions were established in France, Germany, Finland, and elsewhere as part of fortified frontiers (seeMAGINOT LINE, SIEGFRIED LINE, and MANNERHEIM LINE). In the USSR, 24 fortified regions were built along the country’s western borders in the 1930’s to cover important axes and strategic regions. At the beginning of the Great Patriotic War of 1941–45, some of the Soviet fortified regions, such as the Karelian, Korosten’, and Kiev regions, played an important part in the frontier battles of 1941 and the defenses of Leningrad and Kiev.
REFERENCESKokhanov, N. I. Inzhenernaia podgotovka gosudarstv k oborone. Moscow-Leningrad, 1928.
Khmel’kov, S. A., and N. I. Ungerman. Osnovy i formy dolgovremennoifortifikatsii. Moscow, 1931.
Shperk, V. F. Istoriia fortifikatsii. Moscow, 1957.
G. F. SAMOILOVICH