The Atlantic Wall ( Atlantikwall in German) was a system extensive of Fortification S coastal, built by the IIIe Reich during the Second world war and intended to protect Europe from an invasion by the Allies.
HistoryHe was imagined by the chief engineer Fritz Todt, who had already created the Ligne Siegfried in Germany along the French border. The Atlantic Wall represented a defense system which Erwin Rommel affectionnait particularly. A fixed defense system, a continuous line which would reject with the sea the allies before even as they could pose a foot on the ground. Gerd von Rundstedt on the other hand was more follower of a mobile defense system: armed troops and armoured tanks in withdrawal in the grounds which would deliver combat after the unloading of the allies. These divergences of opinions were quickly swept by Adolf Hitler which lined up as regards marshal Rommel.
CompositionIt was especially made up of Batteries of coastal artilleries, of management positions of shooting, bunkers, nests of machine guns, of tobrouk, sometimes of turrets of tanks being used as artillery turret, of radar tracking stations of monitoring and the minefields, which during 1942 - 1944 extended since the Franco-Spanish Frontière until in Norway.
On certain beaches of the networks of posts out of wooden (“asparaguses of Rommel”), of wire of irons barbed wire S, Belgian doors of cattle sheds (which were only assembled steel posts and which resembled doors of cattle sheds), concrete studs came to supplement the defense force. The Rommel marshal had a wild imagination as for the defense systems coastal: flame throwers integrated into the blockhouses, barded radiocontrolled tanks of explosives, barbed iron wire connecting of the surmounted posts of mines…
The part most strengthened and equipped better was that which was in the Pas-de-Calais, because nearest in distance to Great Britain and the most probable place of the unloading.
The troops used to defend the works were of combative low value, often these men were declared inapt for the combat of the mobile units. One also found there foreigners enlisted combatant under the German uniform.
Artillery batteriesThe artillery batteries represent the raison d'être of the wall. It is around them that the pockets of resistance develop. It is generally about a naval gun around which a bunker is built (generally in this order within sight of the imposing size of the guns). These guns had a range of several tens of Kilomètre S.
Certain batteries present in the Pas-de-Calais were able to fire their shells until on the English territory.
Management positions of shootingThese bunkers on several levels sheltered the electronic and optical instruments (Télémètre) necessary to the orientation of the shooting of the guns of the battery.
TobrouksThese small individual bunkers were kinds of shelters open on outside in their upper part by a hole. The personnesl affected in the tobrouks were generally equipped with machine-guns MG 34 or MG 42. The tobrouks could also be covered with a steel bell or a turret of tank.
BunkersVarious bunkers sheltered the reserves of ammunition, water reserves, the personnel… They all were built on the basis of plan standardized in a preoccupation with a time-saver. This method however appeared partly ineffective owing to the fact that it was necessary to adapt the plans to the ground and the available resources.
- List of the walls
- Normandy Mémoire Spaces Historical: ''' the Atlantic Wall '''
- DDay-Overlord.com - History and photographs of the Atlantic Wall (fra/en)
- Atlantikwall.fr (en/de)
- 7Grad.org (of)
- Atlantikwall.net (in)
- Atlantikwall Museum Noordwijk the Netherlands
- Atlantikwall-Bildergalerie.de (of)
- Deutsches Atlantikwall-Archiv - DAWA (de)
- Museumscenter Hanstholm (of)
- Haagse Bunker Ploeg information site butt the Atlantikwall in the Netherlands,
- Specialized site on the Maginot Line but présentat also the Photo' S - Atlantic Wall
- Pictures Bunker, place, information on casemates of Second world war, Atlantic Wall and Cold war (in)
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