Hitler’s Fortresses

German Fortifications and Defences 1939–45

Hitler’s Fortresses cover


The definitive illustrated history of German World War II fortifications, covering the Atlantikwall, Westwall, and myriad other defensive works.

Hitler's 'West Wall' was one of the greatest engineering projects of the 1930s. Stretching more than 390 miles and containing some 14,000 pillboxes it was a significant statement of intent. But it was only as World War II progressed that Germany's defensive requirements expanded beyond all previous expectations. Along the Atlantic coastline Germany poured millions of tonnes of concrete into chain batteries, bunkers and minefields, whilst defensive works were sunk into the mountainous terrain of Italy in an attempt to halt the advancing Allies.

As well as these large-scale defensive works, Hitler's Fortresses delves into the principles and engineering of basic frontline defences, showing how the average German soldiers prepared their fox-holes and field fortifications, as well as exploring special purpose fortifications like the huge U-boat pens, V-weapon sites and Hitler's own personal constructions, from his sprawling headquarters to his mountain-top lair. This exhaustive study of German wartime fortifications reveals much about the strategic and tactical thinking of the German High Command, and combat accounts explore how effective the defences were in practice.

Illustrated throughout with contemporary photographs, cutaway diagrams, artworks and maps, this edition shows exactly how key types of defensive positions looked and functioned, and provides an authoritative record of the Third Reich's defensive mindset.

Table of Contents


Hitler's Headquarters – The Führer's Command Bunkers
Protecting the Homeland – Germany's Border Defences
Defence of the Periphery – The Atlantic Wall
Mountain Barriers – German Defensive Lines in Italy
Etched in the Earth – Field Fortifications
Specialist Fortifications – Protecting the U-Boats and V-Weapons

Further Reading

Product details

Published Mar 20 2014
Format Ebook (Epub & Mobi)
Edition 1st
Extent 396
ISBN 9781782009511
Imprint Osprey Publishing
Illustrations 200 b/w; 50 col
Series General Military
Short code GNM
Publisher Bloomsbury Publishing

About the contributors


Chris McNab

Chris McNab is an author and editor specializing i…


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