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Fortress Europe

The Germans had been expecting an invasion since 1942. They knew it was coming but they could not be sure when or, of course, where. However since they assumed that the invaders would need harbour facilities they began there and then gradually linked them up along vulnerable sections of the coastline.

The work was undertaken by the Organisation Todt, which made extensive use of slave labour and, at its peak, the project was consuming 200,000 cubic metres of reinforced concrete per month. When Field Marshal Erwin Rommel took over responsibility for the defences the pace of work increased and by the summer of 1944 there were formidable structures that the Allies would have to deal with all along the occupied coastline.

We will be meeting them again, on 6 June 2004

The German Plan to defeat an Allied Landing, attributed to Rommel.

Field-Marshal Rommel inspects the Normandy Defences.

A heavily protected German battery on the French Coast.

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