Osprey Publishing Ltd, 2004. — 66 p.While the German Army (deutschen Heer) is perhaps best known for elaborate, massive concrete and steel fortifications, such as the Westwall (or ‘Siegfried Line’) and Atlantikwall, the fortifications that a German soldier was most familiar with were the ones he dug himself. Whether built on the sprawling steppes of Russia, in the deserts of North Africa, in the mountains of Italy, in European hills and forests, or among the rubble of countless battered cities, these were the fortifications that truly defined the boundaries of the Third Reich. The focus of this study is the field fortifications constructed by combat troops defending the frontline. Large, permanent fortifications are beyond the scope of this book, and are dealt with in accompanying Fortress titles (such as Fortress 15: Germany’s West Wall). The core focus will be temporary and semi-permanent crew-served weapon positions and individual and small-unit fighting positions, built with local materials and occasionally construction matériel. Little engineer support was provided: pioneer troops may have provided advice, but the infantry mostly built these positions and obstacles. However, pioneer (Pionier) and construction (Baupionier) units and Organisation Todt civilian labourers did sometimes prepare defences behind the front for units to fall back to. While wartime intelligence studies and reports provide detailed information on German field defences, only limited post-war study has been undertaken. This is largely due to their temporary nature, and the fact that little survives of them today. The Wehrmacht (consisting of the Heer, Luftwaffe and Kriegsmarine) used the same basic doctrine and manuals for positioning and construction purposes as did the Waffen-SS. With the exception of local improvisation, a factor common to all armies in the field, all branches of the German armed forces employed these field fortifications and obstacles.
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