Wednesday, July 20, 2016

A Short Discussion On The Atlantic Wall

The Atlantic wall is the name given to the coastal defensive structure that stretched from Norway to the Spanish border. It was ordered by Hitler on March 23, 1942 and was meant to provide a considerable defense against the Allies, had they decided to attack Europe from the coastline. It took around two years to build and at its completion was considered one of the most impressive structures at the time. The three-tier wall spanned around 2,000 miles and heavily defended strategic port cities. However, the British, Canadian, and American forces were able to breach the wall on June 6, 1944 in what will always be remembered as the Battle at Normandy. 

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That is what most people remember about the wall, but there are also a few unknown facts that should be more recognized. For example, the firearms that lined the Atlantic wall were a plethora of old machinery around Europe. There was no specific size or caliber to the guns. Some were decommissioned naval guns from French and German warships. Others were captured artillery. This, some historians believe, is the reason why despite the well-built structure, the wall could not be properly defended. The logistics in providing the correct ammunition for these types of guns, along with finding servicemen who could be proficient in all sorts of machinery, was staggering. For the most part, soldiers first learned how to fire their assigned gun in battle. 

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There are, of course, many other theories and conclusions as to why the wall fell but it is always good to keep an open mind and review the facts. 

John Eilermann is passionate about learning everything there is about World War II. To read more articles like this, like this Facebook page.

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