Military Archive Research
by Dr. Stuart C Blank
Member of the Orders and Medals Research Society (OMRS)
Member of the Royal Air Force Historical Society (RAFHS)
Member of the Naval Historical Collectors and Research Association (NHCRA)
Member of the Nautical Archaeology Society (NAS)
Member of the International Bank Note Society (IBNS)
Member of the International Bond and Share Society (IBSS)




Review of
Hitler’s Fortresses German Fortifications and Defences 1939-45
Edited by Chris McNab
Osprey Publishing (
ISBN 9781782008286

The most visible and threatening of Hitler’s preparations for the invasion of continental Europe was his Atlantic Wall. It comprised of hundreds of miles of ominous concrete bunkers, gun emplacements and pill boxes overlooking the coast.

The Atlantic Wall and the Channel Island defences may be the best known of these impressive forts that Hitler had built but there were many others which are lesser known. Hitler fortified Europe ranging from rough field fortifications to emplaced tank turrets in Italy, large scale anti-aircraft defences for German cities and sprawling headquarters. This lavishly illustrated book reveals the epic nature of these fortifications and it uncovers the strategic and tactical thinking behind them.

This edition is actually a compilation of several previously published books by Osprey. They individually covered subjects such as the U-Boat bases, the West Wall, D-Day [Normandy section of the Atlantic Wall] fortifications, the Channel Islands, German defences in Italy, the Atlantic Wall and German V-Weapon sites plus a number of other volumes. In effect this book is an assemblage of these previous works.

The book is divided into a number of highly fascinating chapters. They include Hitler’s Command Bunkers, the Border defences of Germany, the famous Atlantic Wall, German defensive lines in Italy, various field fortifications and sites for special weapons. The last category includes U-Boat and V-Weapon protective defences.

The editor has done a splendid job regarding the amassing of such data and most entries have a superb narrative and outstanding imagery. Some of these defences are still in existence and the book serves to compliment them with modern or period photographs. This is a very interesting topic and this tome is bound to become “the book” on this subject.

March 2014