Breaking the Fortress Line 1914 by Clayton Donnell

By Clayton Donnell

Breaking the fort Line 1914 bargains a desirable new standpoint at the German offensive opposed to France and Belgium in 1914. In photo element it describes the serious scuffling with that came about round the forts and fortified towns that stood within the course of the German invasion. The ordeal started with the German attack at the potent fort of Liège. They took twelve days to batter their means throughout the ‘Gateway to Belgium’, wasting tens of millions of fellows in repeated frontal attacks, and so they needed to increase the heaviest siege artillery ever used to spoil the defenses.

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Some 65km upstream, Namur guarded the junction of the Meuse and Sambre rivers, and was the gateway into Belgium from France. Namur’s ancient citadel,12 built by Vauban, sat on top of a triangular promontory overlooking the city and the two rivers. Brialmont built five large and four small forts at Namur, of the same design as those at Liège. 13 The Belgian army relied on the forts of Liège and Namur to delay the German armies, but they had no misconceptions that they would hold them back for ever.

These new inventions were viewed by millions of visitors and brought about the realization of how the world was changing in the second half of the nineteenth century. The Centennial International Exhibition of 1876 was the first ‘World’s Fair’ held in the United States. Philadelphia was the location, in celebration of a hundred years of American Independence. One of the most talked about and anticipated exhibits came from the Alfred Krupp armaments works in Essen, Germany. ‘Not twenty yards from the main entrance of Machinery Hall stand two monsters,’ wrote the New York Times correspondent in the edition of 28 June 1876, speaking of two giant Krupp coastal defence guns.

The Sambre valley continues to the southwest to join the Oise river valley below Valenciennes – the classic invasion route used historically by armies invading France. The railway lines from Berlin to Paris followed the Meuse, Sambre and Oise valleys, making this an ideal way to move troops swiftly to Paris. However, the entrance to the Meuse valley was heavily defended at Liège, and further upstream Namur defended both the Meuse and the Sambre; still further upstream, in France, the Sambre valley flowed past the French fortress of Maubeuge.

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