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Hardcover Fortress Third Reich Book

ISBN: 0306812398

ISBN13: 9780306812392

Fortress Third Reich

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Format: Hardcover

Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

The Atlantic Wall is perhaps the most famous of Germany's World War II-era fortification lines in Europe, but Hitler built many others, from elaborate coastal defenses along the English Channel to the... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

The Wall the Allies had to Crack

A great, informative book showing clear details of various fortresses and their parts. Cross section drawings make this as interesting as a book on castles, which naturally are more "romantic" but actually served more or less the same function in a different age. A great variety of Nazi defensive works are shown, divided by different time periods during the Second World War. It would be quite interesting to see the author take one area that he covers and do a more site-specific book. His clarity in "Fortress Third Reich" would make a site-specific book by Kaufmann something to look forward to!

Excellent coverage!

_Fortress Third Reich: German Fortification and Defense Systems in World War II_ is a comprehensive examination of Germany's fortifications of that era in Europe. In the mere 369 pages of _Fortress Third Reich_, the authors present a comprehensive history of World War II German fortifications. The book's six chapters are arranged chronologically beginning with Chapter 1 which covers the fortifications of the Second Reich - the German Imperial Empire from 1871 to 1918. This first chapter places later fortifications in a historical context by demonstrating that permanent fortifications were a staple of German military strategy at least as far back as the late 19th Century. Chapter 2 deals with the remnants and ruins of the Second Reich left over after World War I and the Treaty of Versailles, as well as the efforts of the German armed forces to maintain their military capabilities in spite of the treaty's harsh terms. In Chapter 3, the authors discuss the expansion of Germany's armed forces and military defenses during the early period of the Third Reich prior to the outbreak of World War II. The final chapters examine World War II in three logically divided timeframes - the initial victory from 1939 to 1942, the retreat and retrenchment from 1942 to 1944, and finally the desperation and defeat from 1944 to 1945. As might be expected, during the period from 1939 to 1942 victory created an environment in which fortifications were not the priority, since the key to success lay with mechanized combined arms warfare. Beginning with the declaration of war against the United States, Germany experienced major defeats (especially the loss of North Africa and the deteriorating situation in the Soviet Union) during the 1942 to 1944 timeframe. For obvious reasons, defense fortifications took on a new significance during this period of the war. The German armed forces suffered appalling losses and the German nation did not have the manpower to defend against the combined strength of the Soviet Union, United Kingdom, and the United States. Nevertheless, many of the fortifications created during this period were not necessarily well planned or organized. Ad hoc and improvised fortifications, particularly in Italy and the Eastern Front, were all too common when unexpected Allied progress thwarted or overran carefully prepared defensive positions. During the final phase of the war from 1944 to 1945, the German use of fortifications was marked by often desperate and unrealistic ideas. This is most particularly the case in regards to the single man defense positions created from prefabricated materials that were far better suited for suicidal Japanese soldiers in the Pacific than German soldiers in Europe. While the authors do not provide a conclusion to the issue of the ultimate utility of Germany's fixed fortifications, it does not take much for the reader to reach one. Despite the vast sums and thousands of lives (many from among the occupied na

Excellent Survey

I have found this companion book in the FORTRESS series of these authors to be another finely done survey. Unlike, the last book in the series, this one is well illustrted and covers German defenses from the Arctic regions to North Africa and from the Eastern Front to the Atlantic Wall. Lots of ground is covered and plenty of references in the biblo can be found for further research. One criticism is the the photo reproductions are not well done, but unlike the last book, there are at least photos in this one.

Good book on German Defenses

After reading Wilt's book, I was disappointed since it lacked the detailed description of German fortifications. This book provides more information on the Atlantic Wall in regards to technical detail, but it is still only a general history and description. On the other side of the coin, it covers many German fortifications that I was unaware of and is reasonable well illustrated. I am not sure I would call it an introductory work since it goes a bit further, but like the authors' American book it covers so much it can only be considered an introduction, but an excellent starting point.

Great View of German Defensives Works of World War II

This book covers a vast topic in a short space and does not bore the reader with tons of useless information on how much ribar and concrete was used or other technical engineering data. Everything from the various types of bunkers in the first fortifications built after World War I to the giant submarine pens and air raid shelters are covered. There is even information on the minefield barrier in the Gulf of Finland and obscure German defensive lines in Europe as well as World War I era defense brought back into service. Certainly there are books that give greater detail on the Atlantic Wall and other indvidual fortifications, but this one is loaded with enough information to give a great overview. Main shortcoming is that the photos are not of the highest quality and some of the wonderful drawings appear to have errors in labeling, but there is no problem in interpreting them properly. Excellent work and well worth the price!!!!
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