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Breaking the Fortress Line 1914 by Clayton Donnell

By Clayton Donnell

Breaking the citadel Line 1914 deals a desirable new point of view at the German offensive opposed to France and Belgium in 1914. In image element it describes the serious struggling with that came about round the forts and fortified towns that stood within the course of the German invasion. The ordeal started with the German attack at the effective castle of Liège. They took twelve days to batter their means in the course of the ‘Gateway to Belgium’, wasting tens of millions of guys in repeated frontal attacks, they usually needed to raise the heaviest siege artillery ever used to spoil the defenses.

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Some of those that lay along the likely German invasion path were completely abandoned. What led to these decisions? What difference would it have made if Maubeuge had received the same funding and modernization efforts as Verdun, or the forts of Laon La-Fère or Hirson on the Oise? What if Montmedy, with its commanding view of the Chiers valley, had been equipped with armoured 155mm or machine-gun turrets, with a line of permanent works to the northeast, in liaison with Fort Ayvelles south of Mézierès?

Joffre presided over the war council hearings to discuss the declassification of the French forts in places such as Lille. He believed that the older forts of Longwy and Montmedy (and Reims, Laon and La Fère) should be declassified. He wanted to utilise the forts to provide cover for the regular troops as they assembled during the initial stages of mobilization (couverture), and then afterwards leave their use to the discretion of the local commander. ), as opposed to permanent fortifications. General Joseph Gallieni, who was offered but declined the position filled by Joffre, requested that attention be paid to Montmedy but by then it was too late to achieve anything there.

LOC) The 42cm mortar at Aberdeen; it was scrapped in 1943. (NARA) In 1901 the chilled cast-iron gun turret, manufactured by Grusonwerk and designed to protect artillerymen and fortress guns from increasingly powerful enemy artillery, made an appearance at the Pan-American exhibition in Buffalo, New York. 5 Dozens of armoured turrets like the Gruson model were, however, installed in land fortifications throughout Europe. Some would be manufactured by Krupp-Gruson, others by French and Belgian companies such as Schneider-Creusot, St Chamond and Ateliers de la Meuse.

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