The French Maginot Line History Essay

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The program of probe is traveling to be an analysis and rating of the history behind the Gallic Maginot Line and why it failed. To set about this survey, the followers was used: sing a local library and researching in the mention subdivision, researching at Troy High School ‘s Library, and traveling to a bookshop to buy secondary beginnings. With these get downing points, I found articles, diaries, and paperss, that may be able to offer of import information and inside informations to my research reenforcing my statements. Through the use of the information gathered in these beginnings, I will explicate a decision of the importance of why the Gallic Maginot line was a defensive failure from Germany in WWII.

B. Summary of Evidence

The Maginot Line, named after Gallic Minister of Defense Andre Maginot, was a Gallic defence construction comprised of concrete munition, anti-tank barriers, heavy weapon armaments, machine gun turrets, and much more ( Allcorn ) . France built this construction to protect its boundary lines from Germany and Italy based on experiences during the First World War, and preliminary Second World War ( Kaufmann ) .

The logical thinking behind the building of the Maginot line comes from the huge Gallic losingss during the WWI. By the clip the war had ended November 11, 1918, the eastern sector of France was invaded and occupied by enemies for four old ages ( Allcorn ) . Within these old ages, the war had caused the deceases of over one million Gallic citizens and, as a consequence, had a major impact on demographics in France, such as a steep bead in the national birth rates ( Maurois ) . Bing a informant to the reverberation of the war, France asked itself a critical inquiry: what could France make to support itself in the hereafter? The Maginot Line seemed to be the reply. If Germans were to try another invasion in France, a defence fortress like the Maginot Line would forestall them from making so.

The building of the Maginot Line consisted of multiple stages throughout the 1930 ‘s ( Kaufmann ) . The STG ( Service Technique du Genie ) ran the undertaking and was supervised by CORF ( Comission d’Organisation diethylstilbestrols Regions Fortifiees ) ( Allcorn ) . The bulk of building was completed during 1939, bing about three billion francs ( Allcorn ) .

The Maginot Line seemed to be the pinnacle of defence constructions at the clip: it was a additive construction, with a sequence of garrisons constructed in an uninterrupted line ( Jurga ) .A Each garrison was placed about 15 kilometers apart from the following, changing amongst terrain. Between each garrisons were casements, armored edifices from where machine-gun are fired, that farther reinforced the Line ‘s defences ( Jurga ) . The garrisons and interval casemates were adjoined by anti-tank barriers and biting wires ( Jurga ) . In kernel, the ligne de principale resistance, with all of its garrisons, casements, and barriers, seemed to be the ultimate defensive construction.

In theory, an incursive German ground forces would hold to conflict the Line as entirely conjoint system, non as series of single garrisons and turrets ( Robertson ) .A However, as the German Army drew closer to France, the Gallic Commanders withdrew military personnels and heavy weapon military personnels that connected the single garrisons and turrets and deployed them elsewhere ( Maurois ) .A This pick weakened much of the Line ‘s firepower and infantry.A Hence, when the Germans attacked, they did non conflict theA Line as pictured byA its builders ( Kaufmann ) .A

The WWII German invasion program of 1940 ( Sichelschnitt ) was created to cover with the Line ( Allcorn ) . A decoy force sat opposite the Line to incite the Phony War: for 8 months, the Germans gave the feeling that they were be aftering to occupy the French at the Maginot Line by hiting heavy weapon salvos on an country nearby ( Feuchtinger ) . In the interim, another German force cut through the Belgium and the Netherlands, every bit good as through the Ardennes Forest, which lay North of the chief Gallic defences ( Allcorn ) . Hence, the Germans were able to avoid straight assailing the Maginot Line. On May 10th, German forces had penetrated deep into France continued to progress until for 14 yearss ( Kaufmann ) . The Gallic Prime Minister, Marshal Philippe Petain, recognizing that France was overrun, proceeded to give up and requested an cease-fire with Germany, which Adolf Hitler agreed to ( Maurois ) .

C. Evaluation of Beginnings

Maurois, Andre. The Battle of France. Right Book Club, 1940. Print.

Beginning: The writer of this papers is Andre Maurois, a Gallic writer born in Normany, who served in the Gallic ground forces during several wars, including the First and Second World. Purpose: The intent of this papers is to depict what Maurois witness firsthand during his clip in the Second World War, largely the Battle of France and what lead up to it. During his times as a traveller for the Gallic ground forces, Maruois had several responsibilities that required speech production to people from different states, chiefly the British and Americans. Value: The value of this papers is that it provides firsthand penetration into cognition of what occurred in World War II. A sub-rosa expression at what happened during the war is provided as penetration through this beginning. Not to advert that it besides includes several different positions and thoughts because Maurois spoke to people from assorted international states. Sing how Maruois spoke to French, American, and British soldiers throughout the war, including those that had posted at the Maginot Line, this papers will supply me with utile information sing the Maginot Line. Restriction: This papers is limited in that it may be biased from a Gallic position. Despite the fact that it includes the sentiments of those who are from America or Britain, Maurois, as a Frenchman, could hold easy filtered out facts or thoughts that he did non appreciate.

Jurga, Robert. Fortress Europe: European Fortifications of World War II. Da Capo, 2002. Print.

Beginning: The writer of this papers is Robert Jurga, an American historiographer who surveies specifically the epoch of the Second World War. Purpose: The intent of this papers is to look into the different types of defence constructions that existed throughout Europe during the Second World War such as garrisons, sand traps, anti-tank barriers, and more. It describes in item the sizes and munitions of noteworthy defence constructions that were constructed during this clip period, including the Maginot Line. Value: This papers is valuable because it provides elaborate descriptions of the Maginot Line such as the specific constructions, edifice stages, and groups of import to the building of the Maginot line such as the STG ( Service Technique du Genie ) and CORF. Restriction: This papers is limited in that it may be biased from an American position. Jurga, may hold found certain defensive constructions throughout Europe to be better than certain other 1s. If he someway considered the Maginot Line to be inferior, he may hold put less attempt into doing a more elaborate description of the design of construction.

D. Analysis

France had experienced ruinous harm in World War I. After the Treaty of Versailles of 1919, France had a strong purpose that it would ne’er hold to endure from such a catastrophe once more ( Kaufmann ) . In 1920, both the authorities and military favored implementing a military maneuver that would forestall any farther German invasion ( Allcorn ) . Many powerful figures in the Gallic military, such as Marshall Foch, assumed that the German choler over their humiliating intervention at the sign language of the Treaty of Versailles guaranteed that Germany would seek retaliation ( Kaufmann ) .

As a consequence, the Gallic military purpose was to entirely encompass the power of the defence ( Kaufmann ) . When Andre Maginot took authorities office in 1929, he lead France to pass a luck ( about 3 billion francs ) to build a complete defence encirclement, the Maginot Line, across the German boundary line ( Allcorn ) . He headlong opposed any expostulations to his program, his lone statement that the construction would certainly forestall any farther awful bloodshed, like that of WWI, should at that place be another war ( Kaufmann ) .

The intended Line would run through the French-German and French-Italian boundary lines ( both enemies during the war ) and would hold two maps: to discourage an assault long plenty to to the full mobilise the Gallic ground forces, and to move as a sand trap to fend off the assault ( Kaufmann ) . Hence, any combat would happen on the Gallic boundary lines, avoiding internal injury and business. However, France made a critical mistake when they ceased to build northern munitions, which is where Germans would occupy from ( Feuchtinger ) . This was because Belgium, an ally, was north of France, and it was unthinkable that either one physique such a colossal building on their shared boundary: the Ardennes Forest. Furthermore, the Gallic had believed that even if the Germans invaded through Belgium, they had considered the Ardennes Forest to be impenetrable due to its hilly and woody terrain ( Maurois ) . As a consequence, the Gallic determination to non widen the Maginot Line across the Ardennes Forest partially contributed it to go a defensive failure.

On another note, many critics at the clip claimed that the original design of the Line was excessively big and dearly-won, which lead the undertaking to go downsized ( Jurga ) . Some of even proceeded that the lone ground why the undertaking did non widen across Belgium was because financess had been running out. In 1934, Chief of State Philippe Petain obtained a billion francs for building, and many people saw this as definite overspending ( Allcorn ) . Sing how much was invested into a undertaking that did non carry through its intent, it becomes apparent why many people consider the Maginot Line a defensive failure.

The mistakes of the Gallic finally culminated in France ‘s failure to surmise and discourage the Nazi invasion program, the Sichelschnitt. Germany gave the feeling that it was traveling to assail the Line ; it posted a recreation ground forces across the Line, whose mere presence prevented Gallic soldiers at the Line to be used as supports elsewhere ( Kaufmann ) . On May tenth 1940, Germany attacked the Netherlands, through Belgium. France, at this point, was non worried-the war seemed to be harmonizing to program, where military personnels at the Maginot Line would be used as a flexible joint to progress and discourage the invasion through Belgium ( Allcorn ) . However, the French did non anticipate that the German forces would traverse Luxembourg, Belgium and travel through the Ardennes. With good over one million military personnels and a 1000 armored combat vehicles, the German ground forces easy crossed the “ impenetrable ” forest ( Feuchtinger ) . They were faced with little opposition, and the Gallic ground forces began to shrivel. By June, Germans had swung behind the Line and cut it off from the remainder of France, taking France to give up and finally attesting the Line as a defensive failure.

E. Conclusion

Though the Maginot Line had been considered by the Gallic as the perfect defensive construction that would fend off an enemy invasion, it is clear that was non the instance. Several factors contribute to why the Maginot Line was a defensive failure against the German invasion: the belief that the Line would be the lone invasion entryway into France for the Germans, the incorrect premise that the Ardennes Forest was impenetrable, the failure to see that the German ground forces opposite the Line was a recreation, the rawness of the Line ( neglecting to widen across Belgium and the Ardennes Forest ) , and the high cost and time-consumption that went into it. The Gallic had become paranoid from the harm it took from the World War I and invested excessively much clip and money encompassing the construct of defence without sing other possibilities such as from invasion elsewhere. As a consequence, the Maginot Line, the apparently ultimate defensive construction, failed to execute its responsibility: to support France.

F. Bibliography

Allcorn, William. The Maginot Line 1928-45. Grand Rapids: Osprey, 2003. Print.

Feuchtinger, Edgar. 21st Panzer Division in Combat Against American Troops in France and Germany. United States Military, 1940. Print.

Jurga, Robert. Fortress Europe: European Fortifications of World War II. Da Capo, 2002. Print.

Kaufmann, J. E. , and H. W. Kaufmann. Fortress France The Maginot Line and Gallic Defenses in World War II ( Stackpole Military History Series ) ( Stackpole Military History Series ) . New York: Stackpole, 2007. Print.

Kaufmann, J. E. Maginot Line none shall go through. Westport, Conn: Praeger, 1997. Print.

Maurois, Andre. The Battle of France. Right Book Club, 1940. Print.

Robertson, Harry S.. Report on Gallic Defenses: Maginot Line. United States Military, 1940. Print.

H. Additional O.P.V.L ‘s

Feuchtinger, Edgar. 21st Panzer Division in Combat Against American Troops in France and Germany. United States Military, 1940. Print.

Beginning: The writer of this papers is Edgar Feuchtinger, a German General ( Generalleutnant ) during the Second World War. He was the Commander of the 21st Panzer-Division and participated in many critical German conflicts such as the Battle of Normandy. Purpose: This papers is a debriefing of German General Feuchtinger by the United States after he and the remainder of the German 21st Panzer Division were captured by the British. Feuchtinger kept records and logs of what he encountered throughout the war. The debriefing papers includes what Feuchtinger had known about the Line at the clip, including the figure of forces encountered at that place and what sorts of heavy weapon and weaponry the Gallic had in ownership. Value: The value of this papers is that it provides firsthand penetration into cognition of what occurred in World War II. Not merely is it from the position of a German, but a General, a critical military place which requires much cognition and accomplishment. This papers will be able to supply me with interior inside informations about the Maginot from a place that I would usually non be able to acquire from a papers that is taken from an American position. Restriction: This papers is limited in that it may be biased from a German position. The German general may hold withheld of import information due to the fact that the war was n’t really over when he was being debriefed.

Robertson, Harry S.. Report on Gallic Defenses: Maginot Line. United States Military, 1940. Print.

Beginning: The writer of this papers is Harry S. Robertson, an American Colonel during the Second World War, who was portion of the 75th Infantry Division and the 291st US foot Regiment. Purpose: Harry S. Robertson ‘s responsibility was to look into the Maginot Line for American intelligence. Robertson, along with his unit, went inside the Line and took firsthand observations to debrief what they witnessed at that place such as arms, troop count, and heavy weapon. Value: The value of this papers is that it provides firsthand penetration of what occurred in World War II. Unlike many other beginnings, Robertson was at that place to witness what the Maginot Line was like at the clip of the War: he saw what types of armaments the Gallic were in ownership of or what the structural layout of the Line was like. More recent paperss trying to look into the Maginot Line are non likely to supply as much item as this papers due to the fact they are non deduced from firsthand experiences. Restriction: This papers is limited in that it may be biased from an American position. Due to the fact that it was an American ‘s occupation to debrief what he sees in a Gallic fortress, it is plausible to believe that Robertson may non hold found the assignment to hold been excessively interesting and that he may neglect to supply a wholly accurate investigational analysis of the construction.

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