The Maginot Line: French Defensive Fortifications – World War Two The Maginot Line was a defensive series of fortifications along the French borders with Italy, Switzerland, Germany and Luxembourg. The main purpose of the Maginot Line, named after French Minister of War André Maginot, was to deter German invasion. It would serve other purposes based off the experience of the First World War. It would save French manpower, becoming a substitute for a reduced army, as France had a shortage of young men for the armed forces. It would also hinder the German army if they attacked, giving time to mobilize the main bulk of the French army. By the time the Maginot Line had been constructed, it had cost 3 billion Francs. The fortifications were built throughout the interwar years of the 1930s, and were state-of-the-art a marvel of military engineering. It was not a continuous line as the name implies but a series of fortifications along the border. The main fortresses were manned by 500 to a thousand men They were built of thick concrete, and they had several storeys, heavy artillery within retractable armored turrets, and air filtration systems to prevent gas from entering. Inside, there was everything needed to provide adequate living: Recreation areas, kitchens, hospitals, living quarters, supply store houses, and underground trains on rail lines to move ammunition. Smaller fortresses are around 100 to 200 men, also made up the line covering the small bunkers of 20 to 30 men armed with machine guns. In front of these defenses, on the border, were anti-tank ditches and obstacles, barbed wire, mines and block houses disguised as residential homes, that French troops could raise the alarm from, if there was an enemy attack. Unfortunately, the French did not prepare for the Blitzkrieg tactics of the German forces, or their invasion through neutral Belgium. Which allowed them to simply out flank the Maginot line in 1940. Where the Germans did attack the Maginot Line, it did serve its purpose well, and the 400,000 French troops who formed the garrison held up a strong defense, however these troops could have been used for the main battle within France. Subscribe and click the notification bell for more history videos. Get your copy of Simple History, World War 2 today! Thank you guys for all your support on the Simple History YouTube channel. If you enjoyed it, please consider visiting our Patreon page. There, you can show us your support for the channel by donating, And make a huge difference in what we’re able to create for you. Plus you can get early access on upcoming videos. So let’s keep it growing, and thank you for being part of this amazing community!