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Old July 15th, 2015, 04:14 AM   #11

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I did hear two sentences in a D Day documentary a few weeks ago where the historian mentioned how many tons of steel was in the reinforcing bars of the concrete bunkers and what could have been done with that amount of steel.

The details are forgotten, but basically there is a huge amount of steel in the Atlantic Wall
I'm not complaining but it also reminds me of all the munitions like anti-tank mines that were ruined by seawater when they tried to mount them against landing craft. Makes me wonder how many of those they placed on other possible landing spots besides Normandy.
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Old July 15th, 2015, 08:39 AM   #12

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One of the most heavily fortified places was the Channel Islands; strategically, there was little point in defending the islands, but Hitler needed to show that he had captured part of the British Isles and was determined to keep hold of it.
(He decreed that 10% of the steel and concrete used in the Atlantic Wall go to the Channel Islands).
As a result, the Channel Islands had 11 batteries with 38 guns, whilst in comparison, there were only 37 guns allocated for the whole of the coast between Dieppe and St. Nazaire.
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Old July 15th, 2015, 10:58 PM   #13

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One of the most heavily fortified places was the Channel Islands; strategically, there was little point in defending the islands, but Hitler needed to show that he had captured part of the British Isles and was determined to keep hold of it.
(He decreed that 10% of the steel and concrete used in the Atlantic Wall go to the Channel Islands).
As a result, the Channel Islands had 11 batteries with 38 guns, whilst in comparison, there were only 37 guns allocated for the whole of the coast between Dieppe and St. Nazaire.
If you find yourself in Guernsey and/or Jersey the German fortifications are well worth a quick visit. They put the Pillboxes near where I live to shame.
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Old July 16th, 2015, 07:03 AM   #14

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the underground hospital is cool.

I'd imagine Hitler would have "borrowed" monies and materials from France, Denmark, the Netherlands and all other occupied areas. Or he would have saved a massive treasury from 1933 to 1939 to pay for the immediate costs of rearmament.
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Old July 16th, 2015, 11:29 PM   #15

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the underground hospital is cool.

I'd imagine Hitler would have "borrowed" monies and materials from France, Denmark, the Netherlands and all other occupied areas. Or he would have saved a massive treasury from 1933 to 1939 to pay for the immediate costs of rearmament.
The underground hospital, is also creepy.

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The Atlantic Wall ? 11 Amazing Facts About the Nazi Defences at Normandy | militaryhistorynow.com

3. Approximately 1.2 million tons of steel went into the Atlantic Wall. That’s enough to build more than 20,000 Tiger tanks. The Nazis also poured 17 million cubic metres of concrete into the defences – the equivalent of 1,100 Yankee Stadiums.

4. The cost to lay down just the French portion of the Atlantic Wall was 3.7 billion Reichsmarks — an estimated $206 billion in today’s currency.

9. In late 1943, when Field Marshal Erwin Rommel inspected the Atlantic Wall for the first time, he thought the enterprise a giant farce. The famous Desert Fox described Hitler’s strategy for defence as something out of wolkenkuckucksheim or “cloud cuckoo land”.
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Old July 18th, 2015, 10:56 AM   #16

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If you find yourself in Guernsey and/or Jersey the German fortifications are well worth a quick visit. They put the Pillboxes near where I live to shame.
I can wholeheartedly agree. I've just returned from a short break in Jersey and although I only got to see the Underground tunnels, the whole island is dotted with remains of the defences, big and small.
Incidentally, we stayed in the Pomme d'Or hotel, which used to be the German Naval HQ, and was the place where the Union Jack was hoisted on Liberation Day - May 9th 1945.
Wherever you go, there is this sense that the German occupation had a great and long-lasting effect on the place, there seem to be references to it everywhere.
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Old July 18th, 2015, 12:15 PM   #17
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As to the effectiveness of the wall. At Omaha Beach they were quite effective. 12 US Destroyers almost beached themselves providing covering fire and taking out pillboxes.

The beach fortifications and terrain were formidable. There were three well-placed rows of underwater steel or concrete obstacles, most of them mined. At low tide-when we intended to land the assault forces-the beach itself was two hundred yards wide with no cover. Then came a low seawall. Beyond that were sand dunes and bluffs, slashed by five widely spaced draws which we intended to use as exit roads from the beach. All the draws were heavily covered by enemy gun emplacements, and the area between the seawall and cliffs and dunes was sown with thousands of mines. In addition, the Germans had cleverly concealed concrete gun emplacements in the bluffs so as to enfilade almost the entire length of the beach.

Omaha Beach, then, was truly an Atlantic Wall. Historian Morison wrote: "Altogether, the Germans had provided the best imitation of hell for an invading force that American troops had encountered anywhere. Even the Japanese defenses of Iwo Jima, Tarawa and Peleliu are not to be compared to these."


Here I must give unstinting praise to the U.S. Navy. As on Sicily, the Navy saved our hides. Twelve destroyers moved in close to the beach, heedless of shallow water, mines, enemy fire and other obstacles, to give us close support. The main batteries of these gallant ships became our sole artillery. Huebner's chief of staff, Stanhope B. Mason, later wrote, "I am now firmly convinced that our supporting naval fire got us in; that without that gunfire we positively could not have crossed the beaches." When he got ashore that night to establish his V Corps command posts, Gee Gerow's first message to me was emotional: "Thank God for the U.S. Navy!"

How We Almost Lost on D-Day: Bradley's Excuse, Bradley's Promise

The destroyers, however, were able to get in closer, and from 08:00 began engaging their own targets. At 09:50, two minutes after the McCook destroyed a 75 mm gun position in WN-74, the destroyers were ordered to get as close in as possible. Some approached within 1,000 yards (900 m) several times, scraping bottom and risking running aground.[55] An engineer who had landed in the first wave at Fox Red, watching the Frankford steaming in towards shore, thought she had been badly hit and was being beached. Instead, she turned parallel to the beach and cruised westwards, guns blazing at targets of opportunity. Thinking she would turn back out to sea, the engineer soon saw that she had instead begun backing up, guns still firing. At one point, gunners aboard the Frankford saw an immobilized tank at the water's edge, still firing. Watching the fall of its shot, they followed up with a salvo of their own. In this manner, the tank acted as the ship's fire control party for several minutes.[69]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omaha_Beach#Naval_support
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Old July 18th, 2015, 01:23 PM   #18

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As to the effectiveness of the wall. At Omaha Beach they were quite effective. 12 US Destroyers almost beached themselves providing covering fire and taking out pillboxes.
Of the 12 destroyers assigned to Omaha beach 3 were RN.
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Old July 18th, 2015, 01:29 PM   #19

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the underground hospital is cool.

I'd imagine Hitler would have "borrowed" monies and materials from France, Denmark, the Netherlands and all other occupied areas. Or he would have saved a massive treasury from 1933 to 1939 to pay for the immediate costs of rearmament.
the hedgehogs, the three steel beams welded into stars were stolen from the czech border defences.

the Belgian gates were taken from the maginot line, the name comes from the designer not where they were used

many of the landmines were captured stock

the whole undertaking was grossly expensive, they had to save money somewhere.
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Old July 18th, 2015, 06:20 PM   #20

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With the Atlantic Wall, the Maginot Line, the Lorient sub bases and other fortifications, northern France must be one of the most heavily fortified areas of the 20th century?
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