The Forts and Fortifications of Europe 1815-1945: The Central States (Hardback)
Germany, Austria-Hungary and Czechoslovakia
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After the Napoleonic Wars the borders of Central Europe were redrawn and relative peace endured across the region, but the volatile politics of the late nineteenth century generated an atmosphere of fear and distrust, and it gave rise to a new era of fortress building, and this is the subject of this highly illustrated new study. The authors describe how defensive lines and structures on a massive scale were constructed along national frontiers to deter aggression. The Germans, Austro-Hungarians and Czechs all embarked on ambitious building programmes. Artillery positions, barbed-wire networks, casemates, concrete bunkers, trench lines, observation posts all sprang up in a vain attempt to keep the peace and to delay the invader. The strategic thinking that gave rise to these defensive schemes is described in detail in this study, as is the planning, design and construction of the lines themselves. Their operational history in wartime, in particular during the Second World War, is a key element of the account.
Fascinating readingMilitary Modelling
The authors are experts on their subject and their work is very readable. The illustrations are superb, and it makes a fascinating read.Destructive Music
The maps and plans, especially the plans, are numerous and extremely helpful. They show the arrangement of fortifications in a way that simple text would have found impossible. For those with an interest in European land fortifications of the 19th and 20th centuries, this book is an excellent general survey.The Coast Defense Journal
A comprehensive work and fascinating read.Fortress Study Group
The entire series of [the Kaufmann's'] well-written and superbly illustrated 'Forts & Fortifications' impromptu series now runs to ten volumes. The entire list runs as follows:Ty Bomba
Fortifications of the Incas 1200-1531
Fortress America: The Forts That Defended America 1600 to the Present
Fortress Europe: European Fortifications of World War II
Fortress France: The Maginot Line & French Defences in World War II
Fortress Third Reich: German Fortifications & Defence Systems in World War II
The Atlantic Wall: History and Guide [available from pen-and-sword.co.uk]
The Maginot Line: History and Guide [available from pen-and-sword.co.uk]
The Medieval Fortress: Castles, Forts & Walled Cities of the Middle Ages
Forts & Fortifications of Europe 1815-1945: The Central States [available from pen-and-sword.co.uk]
First & Fortifications of Europe 1815-1945: The Neutral States [available from pen-and-sword.co.uk]
I recommend all of them to everyone with an interest in the topics. Further, these latest two make wonderful additions, both in terms of their large chronologic coverage and their specific topic nations.
The Central States volume is of interest to me particularly in regard to its detailed discussion of the Czechoslovakian fortifications of the inter-war period (the 'Benes Line'), along with its presentation on the defence construction efforts of Axis Hungary in 1944. What jumped out at me from the Neutral States volume was, of course, the in-depth treatment given to the Swiss. I’m sure I’ll make good use of all those data in some future war-game designs.
A comprehensive work and a fascinating read.Bernard Lowry
This book is essential reading for anyone with an interest in the subject, but also provides a useful introduction for those wishing to develop a knowledge of fortifications and their impact on the conduct of war.Firetrench
[E]xtremely well written and presented and gives you every scrap of information you’ll ever need on cupolas, embrasures and cloches.War History Online