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The ring of fortifications protecting the city of Verdun on the Meuse River would become critical in the infamous battle of World War I. This book examines these fortifications, including the famous forts of Douaumont and Vaux that saw some of the fiercest fighting during the battle.
Following the defeat of France in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71 and the absorption of the provinces of Alsace and Lorraine into the newly formed German Empire, the German Army decided to construct a fortress line from Strasbourg to Luxembourg to protect their new territory and counter the great fortress system that was being built from Switzerland to Belgium, the centerpiece of which was the great Moselstellung (Moselle Position) of Metz/Thionville.The fortress consisted of concrete batteries that fired 10 and 15cm guns from steel turrets, concrete barracks, infantry strong points with ditches defended by casemates, and concrete trenches with shelters and steel observation cupolas. The entire position was surrounded by a wide belt of barbed wire entanglements that were defended by machine gun and rifle positions, and hidden from the view of the attacker. Illustrated with photographs and full color cutaway artwork, this book examines the design and development of the fortress and analyzes its use in combat, focusing particularly on the part it played in holding up General Patton's Third Army's advance across France in 1944
"Stonewall" Jackson's Valley Campaign saw a Confederate Army outmaneuver and defeat three times their number of Union troops in a lightning-swift campaign in the following battles: First Kernstown, McDowell, Front Royal, First Winchester, Cross Keys, Port Republic.On the morning of June 9 1862, victorious Confederate troops under the command of Major General "Stonewall" Jackson began a general advance in pursuit of the withdrawing Union forces following the battle of Port Republic. This was the sixth major battle fought between Union and Confederate troops during a three-month period in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia in the spring of 1862. It was also, effectively, the final battle of what became known as Jackson's Valley Campaign. The campaign, which had begun with a Confederate defeat at the First Battle of Kernstown on March 23, became a showcase for the maneuverability and mobility of Jackson's forces as, heavily outnumbered, they kept the larger Union forces pinned and down and off balance."Stonewall" Jackson had performed his task of keeping General McDowell's Union forces away from the Peninsula Campaign better than anyone could have expected, and following his final victory at Port Republic he was able to force march his men to join up with Lee at Richmond in time to take part in the Seven Days Battles that saved Richmond for the Confederacy.Jackson became a legend for his actions in the Valley Campaign. His army marched over 600 miles in 48 days to win five major battles. His forces, at no time numbering more than 17,000 men, overwhelmed a combined Union force of 50,000, demonstrating in every case his ability to maneuver his troops into a tactical advantage of at least four to three.
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