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The Forts and Fortifications of Europe 1815-1945: The Neutral States (Hardback)

P&S History

By J.E. Kaufmann, H.W. Kaufmann
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 234
ISBN: 9781783463923
Published: 14th October 2014

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After the Napoleonic Wars the borders of 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. In the neutral states situated between France and Germany - The Netherlands, Belgium and Switzerland - the need for extensive fixed defences was particularly urgent, and this is the subject of this highly illustrated new study. The strategic thinking that gave rise to these defensive schemes is described in detail, 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 this expert account.

As in Volume 1 the authors have packed a mass of facts, plans and illustrations into the book so that a very full picture is built up...A lot of hard work has gone into this study and it is to be thoroughly recommended.

Casemate Publishers

Quite fascinating ... a mine of information for modellers as well.

Military Modelling

This book is another volume in an excellent series that uncovers the history of these fortifications, in this volume looking carefully at the fortifications of three neutral countries during the 19th and 20th Centuries. It is very well illustrated throughout and its authors once more present an authoritative history that is unlikely to be equalled and never to be beaten by any other account of the subjects.

Firetrench

The narratives are illustrated by numerous plans and drawings. Like its companion volume, this is an excellent resource for those wishing a general overview of the fortification of the region.

The Coast Defense Journal

A well researched and interesting book with many photographs, maps and illustrations.

Pillbox Study Group

The entire series of [Kaufmann's] well-written and superbly illustrated 'Forts & Fortifications' impromptu series now runs to ten volumes. The entire list runs as follows:

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.

Ty Bomba

About J.E. Kaufmann

J.E. Kaufmann is a retired teacher and presently an adjunct professor at Palo Alto Jr. College and H.W. Kaufmann, PhD, is a retired professor, and they live in the United States. Their most recent books on fortifications are The Maginot Line, The Atlantic Wall, The Forts and Fortifications of Europe 1815-1945: The Central States and The Forts and Fortifications of Europe 1815-1945: The Neutral States.


About H.W. Kaufmann

J.E. Kaufmann is a retired teacher and presently an adjunct professor at Palo Alto Jr. College and H.W. Kaufmann, PhD, is a retired professor, and they live in the United States. Their most recent books on fortifications are The Maginot Line, The Atlantic Wall, The Forts and Fortifications of Europe 1815-1945: The Central States and The Forts and Fortifications of Europe 1815-1945: The Neutral States.

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