After the Napoleonic Wars the borders of Europe were redrawn and relative peace endured across the region, but the volatile politics of the late nineteenth century generated an atmosphere of fear and distrust, and it gave rise to a new era of fortress building. In the neutral states situated between France and Germany - The Netherlands, Belgium and Switzerland - the need for extensive fixed defences was particularly urgent, and this is the subject of this highly illustrated new study. The strategic thinking that gave rise to these defensive schemes is described in detail, as is the planning, design and construction of the lines themselves. Their operational history in wartime, in particular during the Second World War, is a key element of this expert account.
J.E. Kaufmann is a retired teacher and presently an adjunct professor at Palo Alto Jr. College and H.W. Kaufmann, PhD, is a retired professor, and they live in the United States. Their most recent books on fortifications are The Maginot Line, The Atlantic Wall and The Forts and Fortifications of Europe 1815-1945: The Central States.