The Maginot Line, the complex system of strongpoints constructed between the world wars by the French to protect against attack from Germany, is one of the most famous, extensive and controversial defensive schemes in all military history. It stretched from Belgium to Switzerland, and from Switzerland to the Mediterranean, and it represented the most advanced and ambitious system of static defences of its time. Yet it failed to deter German aggression or to halt the invasion of France in May 1940. Much of this historic line - with its fortresses, artillery positions, tank traps, blockhouses, concrete bunkers - has survived and can be visited today. This invaluable handbook, which has been written and compiled by the foremost experts in the field, is a guide to the history of the line and all the major sites concerned.
Essential reading for the student of twentieth century fortification. Beautifully produced, well written, well illustrated and above all, the ideal reference book for its subject.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.
This is a useful piece of work, combining a detailed history and a guide to the line. My own mental image for the line turned out to owe rather more to French wartime propaganda than to reality. This was a valuable read.historyofwar.org - Dec 2011
This combined history and guide to the Maginot Line is essential reading and reference for anyone interested in fortifications, especially those of the 20th century and Second World War.Loopholes - The Journal for the Pillbox Study Group - Nov 2011
Essential reading and reference for anyone interested in fortifications, especially those of the 20th century and Second World War.Military Times - May 2011
This combined history and guide to the Maginot Line is essential reading and reference for anyone interested in fortifications, especially those of the 20th century and Second World War.Military Times