Maginot Line

The Maginot Line was a line of concrete and steel defences that stretched between Luxembourg and Switzerland along France's border with Germany. The defensive system had originally been proposed by Joseph Joffre and was built between 1930 and 1935. It had three interdependent fortified belts with anti-tank emplacements and pillboxes standing in front of bombproof artillery casements. Named after Andre Maginot, the French war minister at the time, it cost 7,000 million francs to build and was claimed at the time to provide an impregnable defence against the German Army.

However, when Adolf Hitler ordered the Western Offensive in the spring of 1940, the German armed forces invaded France through the heavily wooded and semi-mountainous area of the Ardennes, an area, north of the Maginot Line. The French military had wrongly believed that the Ardennes was impassable to tanks. Seven panzer divisions led by Heinz Guderian and Erwin Rommel reached the Meuse River at Dinant on 12th May and the following day the French government was forced to abandon Paris.