World War II Forts and Fortifications - Pictures, discoveries, tours and restoration.
Latest hand-picked WWII news.
How The Nazis Managed To Capture The Worldâ€™S Strongest Fortress In Under 20 Minutes
In the early morning hours of May 10, 1940, soldiers manning the Belgian fortress of Eben Emael looked up at the sky and beheld an alarming sight: nine strange slender-winged aircraft descending silently towards them. Within seconds the aircraft skidded to a halt and disgorged 54 highly-trained German airborne troops onto the fortâ€™s grass roof. Little could the garrison have imagined that in less than half an hour their fortress â€“ the most modern and impregnable in the world â€“ would be brought to its knees in one of the most daring and successful assaults of the Second World War.
20 Pictures That Proved To The German People That The Atlantic Wall Could Not Be Breached
20 Pictures That Proved To The German People That The Atlantic Wall Could Not Be Breached.
Classic turn-based strategy games: Conflict-Series
If you like classic turn-based PC war games and legendary strategy board games make sure to check out the highly rated Conflict-series for Android. Some of the WWII Campaigns include Axis Balkan Campaign, D-Day 1944, Operation Barbarossa, France 1940, Kursk 1943, Market Garden, Iwo Jima, Okinawa, Rommel's North African campaign, and the Battle of Bulge. In addition to WWII some other time periods include Korean War, American Civil War, First World War and American Revolutionary War. The more complex campaigns like Operation Sea Lion, Invasion of Norway, and Invasion of Japan 1945, include Naval element and handling logistics of supply flow.
(available on Google Play & Amazon App Store since 2011)
Mad Major Carpenter Attached 6 Bazookas To His Artillery Spotter Plane And Went Tank Hunting
Promoted to the rank of major in 1944, Charles Carpenter was assigned to combat duty in France with the 1st Bombardment Division. Upon arrival he was assigned an L-4H and assigned to fly artillery support missions in support of the U.S. 4th Armored Division. By the time of the Allied siege of Lorient and the encirclement of German forces around that city, Carpenter had grown frustrated at his inability to attack German armor on those occasions when Allied artillery or tactical aircraft were either out of range or were engaged in other combat missions. Inspired by other L-4 pilots who had installed bazookas as anti-tank armament on their planes, and with the assistance of an Ordnance technician as well as support from the Ninth Air Force Service Command, Carpenter first attached two M1 rocket launchers (bazookas) to the underwing struts of his L-4H, which he named Rosie the Rocketer.
Maunsell Forts: Britain's strange sea defense against the Nazis in the Thames and Mersey estuaries (photos)
To defend the Thames estuary, engineer Guy Maunsell suggested building 7-story offshore towers, each with 120 men, two 3.7-inch AA guns, and two 40mm Bofors guns. For Mersey estuary he had a different vision: Seven 750-ton towers - 30 meters apart, connected by steel pipe walkways - constituting a fort.
Switzerland's World War II bunkers - designed to stop Nazi invasion - get a second life
Switzerland had been neutral for 4 centuries, but when the German war machine was unleashed in 1939, the tiny nation battened down the hatches and the Swiss military dug over 20,000 bunkers in the Alps to defend the country in case of a Nazi invasion. The government maintained the WWII-era military fortifications until the end of Cold War. Now these WWII bunkers are used as hotels, banquet halls, seminar centers, museums, stables, storage rooms, etc. Bunkers are also used during special events like Swiss Army Nights, where history buffs rough it out on military bunk beds like the soldiers in the 1940s.
The Maginot Line: History buffs travel to France to tour the forts of massive WW2 relic (Article no longer available from the original source)
In the 1930s the Maginot Line was a military marvel, an unbeatable network of underground fortifications along France's border with Third Reich - build to stop the Nazi offensive and avoid a repeat of the WW1 trench warfare. But in 1940 the Wehrmacht simply bypassed the staggeringly expensive network of bunkers, tunnels and artillery batteries. Now history buffs travel to France to tour the underground forts - largely abandoned after WW2 - which began reopening for tourists in the 1980s. Guided tours are available from April to October, and, as an example, 40,000 people a year take the guided tour of the fort of Schoenenbourg, located near Strasbourg.
Oahu: Second World War tunnel opened for tour
Oahu residents got a rare chance to tour a WWII fortification that was once top secret. The "Battery 405" tunnel and its rooms are hidden in a cave above the Aikahi Shopping Center. Battery 405 is one of many bunkers built to protect Oahu after the Pearl Harbor attack. "The walls don't go straight off from the tunnel... If a shell came in from the ocean, the shell would be prevented from going right into the entrance of the tunnel," tour guide Gary Weller explained. After the war, the tunnels were leased to civilians. "I am really interested in all of the WWII vintage fortifications that are around the island," Raleigh Ferdun said.
Alaskan Islands show World War II scars - Pillboxes and bunkers
At the end of the driveway concrete structure sat partly obscured by Arctic wildflowers. For anyone in the military, it was evident it was a pillbox. Pillboxes, bunkers and gun placements are common sights in Dutch Harbor, an Aleutian Island port built over its World War II past. The only places in the US that were bombarded and occupied by the enemy were a series of isles in the great island chain of Alaska called the Aleutians. On June 3 and 4, 1942, Japanese planes swooped low over Dutch Harbor, bombing U.S. Army and Navy facilities. The best place to get a sense of the military buildup of Dutch Harbor is the site of Fort Schwatka, now a National Historic Area.
Secret World War II-era fortification in San Francisco Bay reopen
Battery Townsley, the World War II fortification in Marin that could launch shells that weighed as much as a Volkswagen over 30 miles, will be reopened to the public, fittingly on Veterans Day, after being closed for decades. The battery's guns were active 1940-1948 and stood in defense of the Golden Gate and San Francisco Bay harbors. 1965-1975 it was used to test the force of nuclear blasts without using nuclear weapons. "It's part of the fabric of our history that is important to understand," said Greg Jennings, member of the Coast Defense Study Group, which has worked to reopen the site. The group studies coastal defenses and fortifications.
Germans fight to save hidden Nazi bunkers of Westwall - Siegfried Line
Concealed in a thicket of brambles in hills of Cologne, a relic of Germany's Nazi past has been neglected for 60 years. Under layers of wood and leaves lies part of Hitler's Westwall (the Siegfried Line), a 630km defensive line of bunkers and anti-aircraft defences that once ran the length of Germany's western border. But in the last few years, some locals in the Eifel region have tried to stop bulldozers annihilating these concrete fortifications. "It's important to keep the bunkers as a reminder for future generations, and also to preserve the wildlife," said Sebastian Schoene. North Rhine-Westphalia state still has 2,000 bunkers.
Eben Emael: Few visit the scene of one of Hitler's greatest victories
A small band of paratroopers mounts a daring assault on a huge underground fortress. Swooping down silently in gliders, they disable its big guns with secret weapons and force the 1,300-man garrison to surrender. Sounds like the plot of a action movie - In fact, it's what happened on May 10, 1940, to Fort Eben Emael, one of the world's most powerful fortifications which Allied war planners counted on to halt the Nazi Germany's attack on Western Front. Dug into a limestone cliff the fortress was regarded as impregnable to surface attack or aerial bombardment. Its fall was the key to the Nazi victory in the West.
For sale: World's smallest country - a former World War II fort
A former World War 2 fort in the North Sea, which was declared a state with its own self-proclaimed royal family, is up for sale. The tiny Principality of Sealand, which began life as Roughs Tower in 1941, is a 550 square metre steel platform perched on two concrete towers 11km off the coast of Harwich, eastern England. Although its nation status is disputed, Sealand boasts a military past, defending its sovereignty. Britain's Royal Navy attempted to evict Former British army Major Paddy Roy Bates but were unsuccessful. As they entered territorial waters, Roy of Sealand fired warning shots from the former fort.
West Coast trenches and fortifications to stop Japanese invasion
The Japanese air raid on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, produced devastation in Hawaii -- and panic on the West Coast. Anything seemed possible. The attack had come out of the sky without warning. What if Pearl Harbor was only the first target? What if the Japanese navy was off California ready to strike? On the night of Dec. 7, the Army assigned every available soldier at the Presidio of San Francisco to get to work digging slit trenches and field fortifications to stop a Japanese invasion. Trenches were dug on the bluffs above the Golden Gate. Machine guns were sited to cover Baker Beach on the western edge of the city.
Switzerland's hidden labyrinth of fortresses and camouflaged bunkers
Villa Rose is a camouflaged bunker from World War II with 7-foot (2.5 meters) concrete walls. False garage doors open to reveal cannon emplacements and heavy-duty machine guns. The fortress is part of a vast, little-known system of fortifications built during WWII to repel an invasion by Nazi Germany. Villa Rose was positioned to protect against a German attack over the Jura Mountains from Nazi-occupied France, or over the Alps from fascist Italy.