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The Atlantic wall informationInformation/Links
The Atlantic wall was an extensive system of coastal fortifications built by the German Third Reich in 1942 until 1944 during World War II along the western coast of Europe to defend against an anticipated Allied invasion of the mainland from Great Britain.
Organisation Todt, which had designed the Siegfried Line (Westwall) along the Franco-German border, was the chief engineering group responsible for the design and construction of the wall's major fortifications. Thousands of forced laborers were impressed to construct these permanent fortifications along the Dutch, Belgian and French coasts facing the English Channel.
Early in 1944, Field Marshal Erwin Rommel was assigned to improve the Wall's defenses. Rommel believed the existing coastal fortifications were entirely inadequate and he immediately began strengthening them. Under his direction, a string of reinforced concrete pillboxes were built along the beaches, or sometimes slightly inland, to house machine guns, antitank guns, and light artillery. Minefields and antitank obstacles were planted on the beaches themselves, and underwater obstacles and mines were placed in waters just off shore. The intent was to destroy the Allied landing craft before they could unload.