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 Walls and Frontiers in History

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Triceratops
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PostSubject: Re: Walls and Frontiers in History   Thu 28 May 2015, 10:24

The "Siegfried Line" fortifications in the Hurtgen Forest on the Belgian-German border were the scene of a bloody, and nowadays largely forgotten, battle in the Autumn of 1944;

photo of German bunker in the Hurtgen;

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Triceratops
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PostSubject: Re: Walls and Frontiers in History   Thu 28 May 2015, 10:46

@Gilgamesh of Uruk wrote:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inland_Customs_Line


 Astonishing story, Gil.

Also in India, is the Great Wall of Kumbhalgarh, which surrounds said fortress for a distance of 36 kilometres;



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kumbhalgarh
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Anglo-Norman
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PostSubject: Re: Walls and Frontiers in History   Thu 28 May 2015, 19:42

Here are some photos of fortifications in Jersey.  First:
Fort Henry (originally Fort Conway) was built in the 1760s.  However, the 'ear' you can see projecting from the tower (there's a matching one on the other side) was a searchlight platform.  You can see the big hole cut out of the tower to house the searchlight when not in use.  The Fort also had a bunker underneath and a 'six-shooter' machine-gun turret housing three MG34 machine-guns.  In front, a nice view of the anti-tank wall and one of a pair of coastal defence bunkers, each originally housing a 10.5cm gun.  Additionally this 'Resistance Nest' also featured two further MG34s, two mortars, no fewer than ten flame-thrower emplacements and a minefield.  Welcome to Jersey!


Machine-gun emplacement at Resistance Nest Fort Henry.  The second of the two 10.5cm bunkers can be seen behind.


Bunker on Gorey Pier, with trompe-l'oeil camouflage made to look like a cottage with white walls and red-tiled roof.  This is one of the few which were demolished, but the bunkers are Fort Henry were similarly painted (one even had a trellis with roses!) - a bit more imaginative than the usual green-and-brown splodges!


Some of the sites have been restored.  This is Battery Lothringen at Noirmont, with its massive range-finders (the turret is a partial replica, but the two periscope cupolas, with 7in thick armour, are original and the only ones of their type to survive).  Beneath, the command bunkers extends to 40ft on two levels, dug through solid granite.


One of Lothringen's 15cm guns (originally four, though only three survive).  The barrel is original (thrown over the cliff after the War) but the mounting and shield are replicas.  The gun platforms are outsized because it was originally intended to replace the guns with larger calibre weapons; however, this never happened.
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Triceratops
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PostSubject: Re: Walls and Frontiers in History   Fri 29 May 2015, 11:56

Terrific pictures there, A-N.

Here's one of the Austratt Fort in Norway, now a museum. The triple gun turret is from the Gneisenau.

The fort was kept in a working condition into the 1970s, and is well preserved;

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ferval
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PostSubject: Re: Walls and Frontiers in History   Fri 29 May 2015, 14:26

We hear a lot about the Antonine Wall as the 'most northerly frontier' of the Roman Empire but rarely about what was the real most northerly - and possibly the earliest - fortified frontier, the Gask Ridge Frontier. Running from near Stirling to the banks of the Tay, it effectively monitors the route between the central belt and the highlands and is traditionally ascribed to Agricola after 79CE although there is some evidence it was occupied before that. Although there is no wall there is an all weather road and strung along it are 3 large forts, at least 18 smaller forts with watch towers and at least 3, probably many more, fortlets. Further north were the about 10 'glenblocker' forts and the legionary fortress at Inchtuthill.

The first occupation lasted around 8 years but the large forts at least were refurbished and reused under Antoninus and some again utilised by Severus.
In adition the area is littered with temporary camps from each period, the largest covering 144 acres. Sept sev is said to have invaded with a force of 30,000, something which I find impossible to imagine while passing through this douce and peaceful countryside today.


The Ardoch fort is really 3 forts on the same site: the first is Flavian, the later 2 Antonine and elements of all 3 are still visible. Here it is under snow:



Reconstructed watch tower (single ditch, some had a double ditch:

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Anglo-Norman
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PostSubject: Re: Walls and Frontiers in History   Fri 29 May 2015, 21:45

@Triceratops wrote:
Here's one of the Austratt Fort in Norway, now a museum. The triple gun turret is from the Gneisenau.

Intriguing! I hadn't realised any parts of the Gneisenau survived. The Scharnhorst-class were beautiful ships, and formidable opponents, too.
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PaulRyckier
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PostSubject: Re: Walls and Frontiers in History   Sun 31 May 2015, 21:55

@Triceratops wrote:
The "Siegfried Line" fortifications in the Hurtgen Forest on the Belgian-German border were the scene of a bloody, and nowadays largely forgotten, battle in the Autumn of 1944;

photo of German bunker in the Hurtgen;



Triceratops,


yes Hürtgen Forest

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_H%C3%BCrtgen_Forest

I read about it in a book of an American soldier, who was there during the campaign. The Americans couldn't understand that the Germans, who were already nearly beaten, could nevertheless do still such an effort to resist. In the book the said man had a very moment a nervous breakdown in the forest and when he saw a head from a German decapitated by an explosion he started to play football with the head...see what I do to you bloody bastard...instead of recognizing the fait accompli still fighting ever and ever again...after a while he became again normal in the face of his compagnions...

And yes, the Ardennes offensive (the battle of the Bulge) had still to begin...


Kind regards and with esteem, Paul.
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