Monday, April 1, 2019
French Maginot Line A Defensive Failure History Essay
cut Maginot define A defensive attitude Failure History EssayThe plan of investigation is red ink to be an analysis and evaluation of the history in arrears the French Maginot annotation and wherefore it failed. To undertake this study, the following was use visiting a local depository library and exploreing in the reference section, researching at Troy High Schools Library, and going to a bookstore to purchase secondary sources. With these starting points, I found articles, journals, and written enters, that may be adequate to(p) to offer important information and details to my research reinforcing my arguments. Through the usage of the information gathered in these sources, I go forth formulate a conclusion of the importance of why the French Maginot path was a defensive failure from Germ whatsoever in WWII.B. Summary of EvidenceThe Maginot declivity, named later French Minister of Defense Andr Maginot, was a French apology twist comprised of concrete fortificatio n, anti-tank barriers, shooter armaments, machine gun turrets, and much more (Allcorn). France create this structure to protect its borders from Ger some and Italy based on experiences during the First World War, and preliminary warrant World War (Kaufmann).The minding behind the formula of the Maginot cables length comes from the immense French losses during the WWI. By the time the war had stop November 11, 1918, the eastern sector of France was invaded and occupied by enemies for four years (Allcorn). inwardly these years, the war had caused the deaths of over one million French citizens and, as a result, had a major impact on demographics in France, such as a steep drop in the national birth rate (Maurois). Being a construe to the repercussion of the war, France asked itself a vital pass what could France do to de reject itself in the future? The Maginot bank line seemed to be the answer. If Germans were to enterprise another invasion in France, a demur fortress k indred the Maginot Line would prevent them from doing so.The construction of the Maginot Line consisted of multiple phases throughout the thirties (Kaufmann). The STG (Service Technique du Gnie) ran the project and was supervised by CORF (Comission dOrganisation des Rgions Fortifies) (Allcorn). The majority of construction was completed during 1939, speak toing about three billion francs (Allcorn).The Maginot Line seemed to be the pinnacle of exoneration structures at the time it was a draw and quarterar structure, with a succession of forts constructed in an continuous line (Jurga). each(prenominal) fort was placed about 15 km apart from the next, change amongst terrain. Between each forts were casements, armored buildings from where machine-gun are fired, that just reinforced the Lines defenses (Jurga). The forts and detachment casemates were adjoined by anti-tank barriers and barbed wires (Jurga). In essence, the ligne de principale rsistance, with all of its forts, casem ents, and barriers, seemed to be the supreme defensive structure.In theory, an invading German forces would establish to fight the Line as wholly conjoined system, not as serial of individual forts and turrets (Robertson). However, as the German Army drew closer to France, the French commandants withdrew troop and artillery troops that connected the individual forts and turrets and deployed them elsewhere (Maurois). This selection weakened much of the Lines firepower and understructure.Hence, when the Germans attacked, they did not battle theLine as visualize byits constructors (Kaufmann).The WWII German invasion plan of 1940 (Sichelschnitt) was created to deal with the Line (Allcorn). A decoy force sat opposite the Line to instigate the counterfeit War for 8 months, the Germans gave the impression that they were planning to invade the French at the Maginot Line by shooting artillery salvos on an area near (Feuchtinger). In the meantime, another German force cut through t he Belgium and the Netherlands, as well as through the Ardennes timber, which lay north of the main French defenses (Allcorn). Hence, the Germans were able to avoid directly attacking the Maginot Line. On May 10th, German forces had penetrated deep into France continued to advance until for fourteen days (Kaufmann). The French set Minister, Marshal Philippe Ptain, realizing that France was overrun, proceeded to surrender and requested an armistice with Ger many an(prenominal), which Adolf Hitler agreed to (Maurois).C. evaluation of SourcesMaurois, Andre. The Battle of France. Right Book Club, 1940. Print.Origin The author of this enrolment is Andre Maurois, a French author born in Normany, who served in the French army during several wars, including the First and abet World. Purpose The direct of this document is to absorb what Maurois witness primary during his time in the Second World War, by and macroscopic the Battle of France and what lead up to it. During his times as a traveller for the French army, Maruois had several duties that required speaking to tidy sum from different nations, in the beginning the British and Americans. Value The value of this document is that it volunteers firsthand insight into familiarity of what occurred in World War II. A behind-the-scenes look at what happened during the war is provided as insight through this source. Not to mention that it as well as includes several different perspectives and ideas because Maurois spoke to people from various international countries. beholding how Maruois spoke to French, American, and British soldiers throughout the war, including those that had posted at the Maginot Line, this document entrust provide me with useful information regarding the Maginot Line. Limitation This document is check in that it may be biased from a French perspective. Despite the circumstance that it includes the opinions of those who are from America or Britain, Maurois, as a Frenchman, could hav e intimately filtered out features or ideas that he did not appreciate.Jurga, Robert. Fortress Europe European Fortifications of World War II. Da Capo, 2002. Print.Origin The author of this document is Robert Jurga, an American historian who studies specifically the era of the Second World War. Purpose The purpose of this document is to look into the different types of defense structures that existed throughout Europe during the Second World War such as forts, bunkers, anti-tank barriers, and more. It describes in detail the sizes and fortifications of leading light defense structures that were constructed during this time period, including the Maginot Line. Value This document is valuable because it provides detailed descriptions of the Maginot Line such as the specific structures, building phases, and groups important to the construction of the Maginot line such as the STG (Service Technique du Gnie) and CORF. Limitation This document is limited in that it may be biased from an American perspective. Jurga, may have found certain defensive structures throughout Europe to be recrudesce than certain other ones. If he somehow considered the Maginot Line to be inferior, he may have put less effort into making a more detailed description of the design of structure.D. AnalysisFrance had experienced catastrophic damage in World War I. After the Treaty of Versailles of 1919, France had a strong intent that it would never have to suffer from such a disaster again (Kaufmann). In 1920, both the government and array favored implementing a military tactic that would prevent any further German invasion (Allcorn). Many powerful figures in the French military, such as Marshall Foch, assumed that the German anger over their humiliating manipulation at the signing of the Treaty of Versailles guaranteed that Germany would seek revenge (Kaufmann).As a result, the French military intent was to solely embrace the power of the defense (Kaufmann). When Andr Maginot as well a sk government office in 1929, he lead France to spend a fortune (nearly 3 billion francs) to construct a complete defense blockade, the Maginot Line, bewilderwise the German border (Allcorn). He rashly opposed any objections to his plan, his scarce argument that the structure would surely prevent any further terrible bloodshed, like that of WWI, should there be another war (Kaufmann).The think Line would run through the French-German and French-Italian borders (both foes during the war) and would have two functions to warn an appal long enough to fully mobilize the French army, and to act as a bunker to fend off the assault (Kaufmann). Hence, any besiege would occur on the French borders, avoiding internal harm and occupation. However, France made a critical error when they ceased to construct northern fortifications, which is where Germans would invade from (Feuchtinger). This was because Belgium, an ally, was north of France, and it was unbelievable that either one build su ch a colossal construction on their shared boundary the Ardennes woods. Furthermore, the French had meand that even if the Germans invaded through Belgium, they had considered the Ardennes Forest to be heavy(a) due to its hilly and woody terrain (Maurois). As a result, the French decision to not extend the Maginot Line across the Ardennes Forest partly contributed it to become a defensive failure.On another note, many critics at the time claimed that the original design of the Line was too large and costly, which lead the project to become downsized (Jurga). Some of even proceeded that the only reason why the project did not extend across Belgium was because funds had been foot race out. In 1934, Chief of State Philippe Ptain obtained a billion francs for construction, and many people motto this as definite overspending (Allcorn). Seeing how much was invested into a project that did not fulfill its purpose, it becomes evident why many people consider the Maginot Line a defensiv e failure.The errors of the French in the long run culminated in Frances failure to suspect and deter the Nazi invasion plan, the Sichelschnitt. Germany gave the impression that it was going to attack the Line it posted a diversion army across the Line, whose mere presence prevented French soldiers at the Line to be used as reinforcements elsewhere (Kaufmann). On May 10th 1940, Germany attacked the Netherlands, through Belgium. France, at this point, was not worried-the war seemed to be according to plan, where troops at the Maginot Line would be used as a hinge to advance and deter the invasion through Belgium (Allcorn). However, the French did not expect that the German forces would cross Luxembourg, Belgium and go through the Ardennes. With well over one million troops and a thousand tanks, the German army easily crossed the impenetrable forest (Feuchtinger). They were faced with small resistance, and the French army began to wither. By June, Germans had swung behind the Line an d cut it off from the rest of France, leading France to surrender and ultimately manifesting the Line as a defensive failure.E. ConclusionThough the Maginot Line had been considered by the French as the perfect defensive structure that would fend off an enemy invasion, it is clear that was not the case. Several factors contribute to why the Maginot Line was a defensive failure against the German invasion the intuitive feeling that the Line would be the only invasion entryway into France for the Germans, the wrong guess that the Ardennes Forest was impenetrable, the failure to see that the German army opposite the Line was a diversion, the incompleteness of the Line (failing to extend across Belgium and the Ardennes Forest), and the high cost and time-consumption that went into it. The French had become paranoid from the damage it took from the World War I and invested too much time and money embracing the concept of defense without considering other possibilities such as from inva sion elsewhere. As a result, the Maginot Line, the seemingly ultimate defensive structure, failed to perform its duty to defend France.F. BibliographyAllcorn, William. The Maginot Line 1928-45. curtilage Rapids Osprey, 2003. Print.Feuchtinger, Edgar. twenty-first Panzer Division in fall upon 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 French 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 pass. Westport, Conn Praeger, 1997. Print.Maurois, Andre. The Battle of France. Right Book Club, 1940. Print.Robertson, Harry S.. Report on French Defenses Maginot Line. United States Military, 1940. Print.H. Additional O.P.V.LsFeuchtinger, Edgar. 21st Panzer Division in Co mbat Against American Troops in France and Germany. United States Military, 1940. Print.Origin The author of this document is Edgar Feuchtinger, a German usual (Generalleutnant) during the Second World War. He was the Commander of the 21st Panzer-Division and participated in many critical German battles such as the Battle of Normandy. Purpose This document is a debriefing of German General Feuchtinger by the United States after he and the rest 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 document includes what Feuchtinger had known about the Line at the time, including the number of forces encountered there and what kinds of artillery and weaponry the French had in possession. Value The value of this document is that it provides firsthand insight into knowledge of what occurred in World War II. Not only is it from the perspective of a German, but a General, a critical mil itary position which requires much knowledge and skill. This document will be able to provide me with inside details about the Maginot from a position that I would normally not be able to get from a document that is taken from an American perspective. Limitation This document is limited in that it may be biased from a German perspective. The German general may have withheld important information due to the fact that the war wasnt actually over when he was being debriefed.Robertson, Harry S.. Report on French Defenses Maginot Line. United States Military, 1940. Print.Origin The author of this document is Harry S. Robertson, an American Colonel during the Second World War, who was part of the 75th Infantry Division and the 291st US infantry Regiment. Purpose Harry S. Robertsons duty was to investigate the Maginot Line for American intelligence. Robertson, on with his unit, went inside the Line and took firsthand observations to debrief what they witnessed there such as weaponry, tro op count, and artillery. Value The value of this document is that it provides firsthand insight of what occurred in World War II. Unlike many other sources, Robertson was there to witness what the Maginot Line was like at the time of the War he saw what types of armaments the French were in possession of or what the structural layout of the Line was like. more(prenominal) recent documents attempting to investigate the Maginot Line are not likely to provide as much detail as this document due to the fact they are not deduced from firsthand experiences. Limitation This document is limited in that it may be biased from an American perspective. Due to the fact that it was an Americans occupancy to debrief what he sees in a French fortress, it is plausible to believe that Robertson may not have found the assignment to have been too interesting and that he may failed to provide a completely complete investigational analysis of the structure.