Breaking the Fortress Line 1914


By: Clayton Donnell
Supplied by: Pen and Sword

Format: Hardback
Pages: 222
ISBN: 9781848848139
Published: 17th October 2013
RRP / Print Price: £19.99

Current purchase price:
£19.99

Breaking the Fortress Line 1914

Breaking the Fortress Line 1914 offers a fascinating new perspective on the German offensive against France and Belgium in 1914. In graphic detail it describes the intense fighting that took place around the forts and fortified cities that stood in the path of the German invasion. The ordeal began with the German assault on the mighty fortress of Liège. They took twelve days to batter their way through the 'Gateway to Belgium', losing thousands of men in repeated frontal assaults, and they had to bring up the heaviest siege artillery ever used to destroy the defences.

This is the epic struggle that Clayton Donnell depicts in this compelling account of a neglected aspect of the battles that followed the outbreak of the Great War. Not only does he reconstruct the German attack on the strongpoints they encountered along the entire invasion line, but he traces the history and design of these fixed defences and analyses the massive military building programmes undertaken by the French, the Germans and the Belgians between 1871 and 1914. 

Thousands of huge forts, infantry strongpoints, bunkers, casemates and shelters were dug out along the French and German borders. The German Moselstellung and Steinbruch-stellung were born. These massive concrete fortress systems with steel gun turrets and diesel motors to generate electricity were a completely new concept of fortress design.

As war approached, France and Germany devised plans to overcome each other's powerful armies and these border defences. The French plan avoided contact with the German fortress system. But the Kaiser's army faced twelve forts at Liège, nine more at Namur, and then the strongpoints of the first and second Séré de Rivières lines. Clayton Donnell provides a gripping narrative of the violent confrontation that followed.

 




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