Fortress Europe: European Fortifications of World War II

Fortress Europe: European Fortifications of World War II

Fortress Europe: European Fortifications of World War II

Fortress Europe: European Fortifications of World War II


The Maginot Line is the most famous fortification system of World War II, but in fact most European countries were busy building fortified defensive lines from the end of World War I until 1941, when the limitations of the French approach became obvious. In addition to the West European sources and contacts he drew upon for the popular Hitler's Blitzkrieg Campaigns, J. E. Kaufmann has now been able to use previously-unavailable East European archives to provide new material on the Soviet Stalin and Molotov Lines and the Czech Nachod-Ostrava defenses. A truly comprehensive account of all European fortifications of the World War II era is available now for the first time, supplemented by scores of remarkable technical drawings by Polish artist Robert M. Jurga.


This book is a survey of most of the major and minor fortifications that were prepared and used in Europe before and during World War II. It is not meant to be a technical, in-depth study of military architecture, but rather a general overview of the subject, a reference for the professional and amateur historian. Each chapter includes a brief background section, examines the location and terrain that was defended, describes the fortifications, identifies some of the key components, and gives a brief history of those defenses in World War II.

The reader may find it necessary to refer to more detailed maps to identify some specific locations since space limitations permit us only to include a selection of illustrative material. Those who need more detailed information on individual positions and lines of fortifications will find that the bibliography contains a complete list of the resources we used as well as a complete list of suggested reading. However, many of the publications are difficult to obtain and some contain limited information.

The information on some of the fortifications in this volume may soon become outdated when additional facts come to light. In other cases, such as Rumania's, very little information was available, so we have presented all the material we were able to glean. We must caution the reader, however, that some of our sources may not have been among the most reliable.

Some countries, such as Hungary, have not been included because we were not able to find any information at all about their defenses. This does not necessarily mean that they had no permanent fortifications.

If any of our readers would like to share information with us for a future revision of this book, we encourage them to contact one of us at the following addresses:

SITE O (Fortifications and Artillery)
http: / / / siteo / frontpage.html
J.E. Kaufmann, PO Box 680484, San Antonio, TX 78268, USA
Robert Jurga, Boryszyn 33, 66-218 Lubrza, POLAND

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