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WW1 Fortifications Books listed at
Viceroy Books


The Fortifications of Verdun 1874-1917
Donnell, Clayton
ISBN: 9781849084123
Osprey Pub Co  2011 
 Soft Cover New book, 64 pages, FOR103. The Battle of Verdun is one of the most well known and infamous battles in history. While the battle is remembered for acts of horror, bravery, and honor, it is also closely entwined with the ring of fortifications built to defend the key town of Verdun on the Meuse River that lay in the path of the German attack. When one thinks of Verdun, one also thinks of Douaumont and Vaux, two forts on the far edge of the battlefield that came to symbolize the French struggle to regain their land from the Germans. In the months after its capture, Fort Douaumont's turtle-shaped heights stood as an ultimate objective and driving force for the French Army. The terrible combat that took place in the tunnels of Fort Vaux serves as an example of how the French attempted to hold on to the last inch of land to the last man. From 1874 to the outbreak of World War I in 1914, construction and improvement of the fortifications of Verdun continued non-stop. It was considered by military engineers to be the strongest place in Europe and indeed it may have been in terms of flanking fire coverage of the battlefield, firepower from its 155mm and 75mm guns and howitzers, and its concrete protection. However, none of this came to the mind of General Petain when, after the unanticipated and successive destruction of the forts of Liege, Namur, Antwerp, and Maubeuge by the German heavy siege guns, he decided that permanent forts were no longer of great value. As a result, all of Verdun's artillery pieces not in fixed turrets were removed and the fortress garrisons stripped down to maintenance crews. Thus, it was a very different fortress that faced the Germans in 1916. However, as the battle progressed and the value of the forts, not only as patriotic symbols but strategic objectives and powerful strongholds was regained, the tide turned again, affecting not only the outcome of the battle, but future military engineering concepts and ideas that would ultimately produce the Maginot Line.   As New
Price: $20.95 (AUD)
Book Number: 005098  Bookseller: Viceroy Books
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The Forts of the Meuse in World War I
Donnell, Clayton
ISBN: 9781846031144
Osprey Pub Co  2007 
 Soft Cover New book, 64 pages, FOR060. On October 29, 1891, the new forts built around the cities of Liege and Namur, known as the "Forts of the Meuse," were turned over to the Belgian Army. The huge project, which had begun in 1888 and cost 71.6 million Belgian Francs, required over 9,000 workers to complete. It produced 21 modern forts that could defend the strategic rail, river, and road arteries passing through narrow gaps to the flat, open plains of Flanders. The Forts of the Meuse were the creation of General Brialmont, one of the foremost military engineers of his time. The development of new and more powerful artillery meant that Brialmont's forts were made of concrete, featuring underground barracks, storerooms, and guns protected in revolving steel turrets. In August 1914, the German Army attempted a quick crossing of this area in order to reach France, but it took them 12 days to destroy the fortresses, with the 30,000 Belgian troops putting up a valiant fight. Containing maps, diagrams, and photographs taken from private collections, this book explores the design, development, and influence of the "Forts of the Meuse," and highlights the importance of their role during the opening battle of World War I.   As New
Price: $20.95 (AUD)
Book Number: 005210  Bookseller: Viceroy Books
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