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Maginot Line 1940: Battles on the French Frontier (Campaign) Paperback – February 23, 2010


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Maginot Line 1940: Battles on the French Frontier (Campaign) + MAGINOT LINE, THE: History and Guide + The Maginot Line 1928-45
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Product Details

  • Series: Campaign (Book 218)
  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing; First Edition edition (February 23, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 184603499X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846034992
  • Product Dimensions: 9.7 x 7.2 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #944,785 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"This valuable and eminently readable book fills an important historiographical niche, and deserves a place on the bookshelves of every student of the Second World War." -Andrew Hind, World at War (February 2010)

"This is the only relatively complete accounts in English of German operations against the Magniot Line and other defended sectors of the French northeastern front. The authors rely heavily on German sources concerning these operations presenting some details not seen in other accounts.  There are a number of new photos not used in other books and a few of the special Osprey maps." -J.E. Kauffman, Site-O / siteo.net (February 2010)

"At their best, Osprey titles can be original works of research in their own right." -Mark Stille, Global War Studies (2010)

"...this book is a must-read for any student of WWII as well as toy soldier and model figure enthusiasts seeking inspirations for dioramas." - Toy Soldier & Model Figure (April 2011)

About the Author

Marc Romanych is a retired US Army combat arms officer. He has a BA in History from the University of Maryland and an MA in International Relations from St Mary's University. Interested in the Maginot Line since 1995, Marc has extensively explored its fortifications. He is a member of Association du P.O. de Sentzich, a Maginot Line preservation group. Marc lives near Baltimore, Maryland. The author lives in Baltimore, Maryland.

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Customer Reviews

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I think all students of WW2 will enjoy this very much as well as anyone with an interest in fortifications.
cpt matt
The maps were well populated with key towns and rivers and showed troop dispositions, axes of advance and clear points of penetration on the front line.
Dave Schranck
This book is well-researched and put together with an eye for detail that makes it particularly useful for specialist readers.
R. A Forczyk

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By R. A Forczyk VINE VOICE on February 23, 2010
Format: Paperback
Although there have been a number of good books written about the German attack on France in 1940, traditional historiography has been skewed toward just the first three weeks of the campaign and emphasizing the German breakthrough at Sedan, the dash to the sea and the Allied evacuation from Dunkirk. Most accounts mention the role played by the French Maginot Line in shaping the German breakthrough plan, but rarely discuss what the Maginot Line troops were doing during the actual campaign. Indeed, the follow-up German invasion of metropolitan France (Fall Rot or Plan Red) and the final three weeks of the campaign are usually absent entirely or skimmed over quickly in standard accounts. However, Marc Romanych's Maginot Line 1940 not only fills both these gaps admirably but it succeeds in presenting fresh content about the German efforts to reduce the Maginot Line. Whereas most accounts suggest that little happened around the Maginot Line while the Germans were overrunning the rest of France, Romanych details seven different German operations to reduce and capture various sections of the line. This book is well-researched and put together with an eye for detail that makes it particularly useful for specialist readers.

Maginot Line 1940 begins with a brief overview of the German invasion plan (Fall Gelb or Plan Yellow), the brief French offensive into the Saar in 1939 and a campaign chronology, followed by the usual sections on opposing commanders, forces and plans. These opening sections are decent, but a bit brief, except for the 3-page order of battle.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Dave Schranck on March 3, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This highly focused and highly informative book far surpassed my expectations for an Osprey Campaign. It had material that even a full size book didn't have concerning the history of the building of the fortifications, the layout and manning of those buildings and the eventual penetration of the Maginot network by the Germans.
The coverage, in typical Osprey format, was concise, informative and logical. In the introductory chapters, the brief history of the Maginot fortifications is discussed. As the "Phoney War" with Great Britain progresses, the authors discuss the French manning the Line as well as the mobilization of its reserves. At the same time, the Germans spent a lot of time studying the best way to conquer their old adversary.

Opposing Commanders lists the four top officers of each side. It was adequate but this was the only chapter in the book that I wished for more information. It would have been nice to have greater coverage of the French Commanders but space was a limiting factor.
Opposing Armies was excellent, especially the French side when describing the disposition of troops in the different fortifications as well as surrounding areas along the line. A spreadsheet was also presented of each Order of Battle, helping to understand the combatants.
A Chronology summarized the key events of the campaign.

The authors devoted 61 pages to the campaign and the coverage was very detailed and from my perspective one of the best in the entire series. There were 58 forts along the line but not all fort fighting was covered but all the key forts that had an impact of the German penetration were covered.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By E. Brefka on April 19, 2010
Format: Paperback
Did you know that some of the battles fought along the Maginot Line delayed the German advance long-enough to facilitate the evacuation of British, French, and other allied forces at Dunkirk? If this one of the many things you never knew about the Maginot Line, then I strongly suggest you read the Maginot Line 1940 as it fills a gap in standard military history books describing the campaigns and battles on the Western Front in World War II. Based on the subject, it's clearly a specialized (and small) book that fills a narrow niche, but for those WWII buffs who think they know all there is about German-French battles, they probably don't until they read this book. The book is definitely a labor of love for who usually considers the battles fought along the Maginot Line as major WWII reading? Most histories that mention the Maginot Line dismiss it as a useless or foolish French endeavor quickly bypassed by the Germans and with no impact to the overall German invasion of France. Reading this book provides a context for where the Line fit in French defenses overall, where it failed and why, and where it almost succeeded in its purpose and why. The book is beautifully and carefully complemented by an enormous number of period photographs, order-of-battle listings, unit location and campaign maps, two-page color terrain maps with descriptions of specific key actions, and artist drawings (from photographs) with notable activities described. The photos, maps, and illustrations bring the narrative alive and give one the feel for the frustrations German units felt in their difficulties overcoming some of the positions as well as the desperate exhaustion some French defenders must have felt in holding off German units for up to 3 days through pounding artillery and infantry and engineer attacks.Read more ›
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