Thursday, January 21, 2016

Documentary Review: Nazi Mega Weapons: The Siegfried Line

This Nazi weapon represents the Western Front for the Germans, or at least the western front early in the war. It was a significant defensive line along the western border of Germany. It was so formidable, as intended by Adolf Hitler, to discourage any attack from the west, France or England.  In doing so it freed Hitler to expand the German empire to the east.  The Siegfried Line was completed in just a few months in 1938, and was directly responsible for the annexation of Czechoslovakia into Germany.  The Allied powers were not willing to oppose Germany with such a strong defense.  This allowed for further expansion to the east, Poland and countries of the Baltic.  However, as the expansion moved west, with the conquest of France, the Siegfried Line was left behind.  It was stripped of much of its metal hardware which now went to the Atlantic Wall.  However the Atlantic Wall was over run in just a day on D-day.  The Germans pulled back to this defensive line, which was formidable indeed.  It was a layered defense.  Even though stripped of hardware, it was still formidable.  There were concrete anti-tank berms called dragon's teeth,  which were very effective, mines and concrete pill boxes.  There were also forests to contend with, which limited the effectiveness of air superiority.   The Allies would be battling through this defense for over six months with a great loss of men.  However, eventually the lack of defenders, and the dwindling supply of ammo proved too much to bear.  There was also a time that the German commander, General Field Marshall Walter Model ordered a counter move.  However the big counter move was The Battle of the Bulge, which caught the Allies by surprise, but petered itself out in three weeks and the counter offensive of the U.S. drove the Germans back past the Siegfried line and on towards Moscow.

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