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Study the Maginot Line Before Building Any Walls
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`Good fences make good neighbors,’ wrote American poet Robert Frost. But not according to President Donald Trump whose proposed Great Wall is supposed to protect the nation from hordes of rabid, murderous, drug crazed rapists and unwhites from south of the border.

I’m a life-long student of military architecture, with a particular passion for modern fortification, chief among which is France’s own Great Wall, the magnificent and unfairly reviled Maginot Line.

Given the heated debate in America over Trump’s proposed barrier along the Mexican border, it’s worth looking back to the Maginot Line. It was supposed to have been France’s savior after the bloodbath of World War I.

Proposed by Deputy André Maginot in the 1920’s, the Line was supposed to cover key parts of France’s frontiers with German and Italy. Due to the terrible losses of the Great War, France did not have enough soldiers to properly defend its long frontiers. So it made sense to erect fortifications to compensate for manpower weakness and to block surprise attacks from next door enemy forces.

The first large Maginot fort was built in the 1920’s north of Nice to protect the Cote d’Azur from possible Italian attacks. Mussolini was demanding France return the Riviera coast to its former Italian rulers. Work on the principal Line along the German and Luxembourg borders began soon after. Phase one covered 260 miles from near the Rhine to Longuyon, a rail junction south of the Belgian border.

The Line consisted of hundreds of steel and concrete machine gun and anti-tank casemates with interlocking flanking fire. They were surrounded by upright rails designed to halt tanks and dense belts of interwoven barbed wire covered by machine guns. Artillery casemates with 75mm, 81mm and 135mm guns covered the fort’s fronts and sides.

Within and behind the Maginot Line were based an army of specialized fortress troops and hundreds of field artillery guns. The era’s most advanced electronic communications systems meshed the defenses together. The big forts were mostly buried 90 feet underground, proof from any projectiles of the era.

But the problem was that a wall or barrier is only effective so long as there are adequate troops to man it.

In the spring of 1940, France had deployed nearly a third of its field army behind the Maginot Line. But then the Germans staged a brilliant breakthrough north of the Line across the supposedly impenetrable Ardennes forest region. In 1938, a French parliamentarian named Perrier (from the French water family) had toured the Ardennes area and warned the military that it was very vulnerable to a German breakthrough. The generals scoffed at ‘this civilian’ and ignored Perrier’s warning.

Sure enough, the German armored and infantry assault came right through this Ardennes weak point near Sedan, forcing a rapid retreat by French and British forces in the region that ended up at Dunkerque.

ORDER IT NOW

As outflanked Allied forces pulled back from the frontier, they exposed the northern flank of the Maginot Line. The French high command, fearing their armies around the Line would be encircled, ordered the interval forces to retreat towards the highlands of central France. The Line was thus denuded of its troops and artillery. These units, who were armed and trained for static defense, had to make their way cross country on foot. Most were captured en route by advancing German forces.

In spring 1940 the Line was unfinished with large gaps and open flanks due to budgetary constraints caused by the 1930’s depression. The Germans drove through them, wisely avoiding most of big forts, and attacked the Line from the rear. Ironically, in 1944/45, German troops ended up defending the Maginot Forts from the advancing US Army.

The Line worked as planned, protecting vulnerable areas. But it was never extended to the Channel due to Belgium’s high water table and reluctance to fortify behind the French ally. The Belgians believed their powerful forts near Liege would delay the Germans until the French Army could intervene. They were wrong.

The French public ascribed almost magical powers to the Line. It would keep them invulnerable they believed. Building the fortifications became a national works project during the Depression, rather like the US WPA labor program. But Adolf Hitler vowed he would go around the Line and chop it up. He did.

A Trump wall or barrier will cost far more than believed and be likely unfinished, with large gaps like the Maginot Line. Some better way of blocking the border must be found. If not, we may end up having to wall and garrison the Canadian border as well.

(Republished from EricMargolis.com by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: History • Tags: Donald Trump, World War II 
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  1. Rational says:

    INCORRECT COMPARISON; WALL WILL SURELY WORK.

    Sir, you make an interesting point, but the comparison is not valid.

    In the Maginot line case, France was being attacked by other COUNTRIES, i.e. govt. of other countries, with tanks and soldiers.

    But, the US is being attacked by individuals, these criminal alien invaders. The Mexican govt. is not trying to invade us with troops and tanks; only the individuals with nothing but a big mouth.

    Even kids are trying to invade the US. The wall will stop them. Better to electrify it with 1000 Volt wires.

    The Jewish alienists call these criminal invaders “migrants”, to fool us. But the Americans and Europeans who travel to Asia are called tourists, and those who settle there are called expats.

    This shows that the Alienists are real scammers.

    • Agree: WHAT
    • Replies: @Joe Stalin
    , @Christo
  2. This is a horrible analogy and the author knows it. He is correct, Trump’s border wall would not withstand an attack by thousands of German troops with tanks. There is no mention of walls in Israel that no illegal immigrant can cross, nor the South Korean DMZ. Border security makes sense and is a tiny fraction of the huge budget our Department of Defense spends to protect the borders of our allies. Opponents are just naive or covert open borders globalists.

    We don’t needs a wall (or high barriers) along 90% of the border because those areas are too far from road access on Mexican side, nor do we need them along 99% of the Canadian border. One can visit the border or just look at youtube and see that we really need a first class barrier along 10% of the Mexican border. This will deter chaos in the easily accessible areas by replacing an assortment of old fences wobbly that even moms with kids can hop over.

    • Replies: @peterAUS
  3. anon1 says:

    Okay Mr., Margolis…..

    What is YOUR solution to the problem of America’s border with Mexico and controlling illegal immigration?

    How diverse is the neighborhood you live in? How many unwhites live on your street?

    • Replies: @Svigor
  4. I challenge Mr Margolis to cite just one incident where an illegal immigrant penetrated the Maginot Line. Otherwise, he should apologize for wasting our time with this horrible article. If he wants to discuss alternatives, like requiring e-verify, let’s hear them.

    How about self-funding border security. We all pay a TSA fee for every flight for security. Why not charge $10 to cross the border by foot, or $20 per vehicle. Many American bridges have hefty fees to cross, why not the border?

    • Agree: Hail
    • Replies: @Biff
    , @Hail
  5. Alistair says:

    No wall is strong enough to protect against desperate people who flee from extreme violence and poverty; yet these people are NOT an invading army but broken families; single mothers with small kids who only seek peace and security for their children.

    The problem of mass migration is not new; but the US leadership had always dealt with it with foresight which is lacking in the Trump Administration. America wouldn’t have the problem of mass migration had the US fulfilled its own role as the world Superpower – so, dealing with the Latin America as the neighbours who need help to restore themselves to functioning states as opposed to walling them in their desperation.

    Back in 1994, the Peso Crisis would have paralyzed Mexico as a functioning state but Bill Clinton administration had recognized that the US must help Mexican government from total collapse which would have resulted to flood of poor migrants to the southern borders of the USA – as such, under the leadership of president Bill Clinton, the US, Canada and IMF had structured a bailout loan-package to help the Mexican government to keep its economy afloat, that has not only prevented the mass migration of poor Mexicans workers to the southern borders of the USA but also helped the US exports to Mexico, so, helped the American economy as well.

    We need similar approach to the rest of the Latin America, we need to help these countries to sustain and restore themselves to functioning states with relative security for families; because no wall is strong enough to protect against total desperation.

    • Disagree: apollonian, Joseph Doaks
    • Replies: @Svigor
    , @dvorak
  6. Giuseppe says:

    The wall will not be effective because illegal immigration from Mexico and Central America constitutes 5% or less of all immigration, see Ron Unz’s recent article on the subject. The real problem is legal immigration: anchor babies, diversity lottery visa, H1-B visa, chain immigration, etc. The real problem is US immigration law, not lack of a physical barrier to illegal immigration. If a wall worked 100% of the time (it won’t) you still would have 20 times the numbers in *legal immigration* that would continue to fail to be addressed. The Wall is a sop tossed to the masses by pandering politicians who don’t have the will to address the overarching problem of legal immigration. General George Patton summed up the Maginot line pretty well, and it applies to the Wall: “Fixed fortifications are a monument to the stupidity of man.”

    • Replies: @Svigor
  7. Who knew Margolis had a side line as a fruit vendor? Get your apples and oranges here, folks.

  8. Svigor says:

    Wow, you’re prone to shit-tier takes, but this one’s way down there, my guy.

    Where are the border-jumpers’ panzer divisions, again?

  9. Svigor says:
    @Alistair

    All the left has to do is 1) disguise their invading army as refugees 2) play the fiddle constantly, shout “they’re refugees!”

    When they’re fighting morons, anyway. No serious people would fall for this scheisse.

  10. Svigor says:
    @anon1

    1. Spread )))whitey’s((( ass cheeks, hold him down while 3rd world hordes rape him.

    2. Make Aliyah. Make up an entire narrative about how the rape was “inevitable” and Jews dindunuffin. Shore up Israel’s Wall.

    • Replies: @anon1
  11. Svigor says:
    @Giuseppe

    The wall will be effective: at proving that America is actually capable of stopping immigration flow. Can’t do something as simple and straightforward as building the wall, can’t enforce immigration law.

    • Replies: @Giuseppe
  12. The key point is that the Germans went around the Maginot Line: The wall itself worked.

    My chateau is near Sedan; lovely wooded hilly place, and one would be forgiven for thinking an armoured assault through the Ardennes would surely fail, so why waste resources there? I hear the same sort of blather about parts of the US southern border.

  13. Foolish; the wall isn’t intended to stop armed invasion.

    One might as well argue against putting your broken arm in a cast on the grounds that it won’t prevent cancer.

  14. Biff says:
    @Carlton Meyer

    like requiring e-verify,

    It already is required.

    • Replies: @Carlton Meyer
  15. @Biff

    Biff, please don’t pollute posts with lies. I thought I had missed some big news, so I spent ten seconds on the internet and the Dept of Homeland Security e-verify site says up front:

    “E-Verify is a voluntary program.”

    https://www.e-verify.gov/

    and so does Wiki and all other types of sites. If E-verify were required, employers would have to turn away illegal applicants, or couldn’t claim they didn’t know an applicant lied on his I-9 Form or used a fake ID. E-verify works great and everyone who uses it knows that. (I saw a poster that KFC uses it.)

    But big business and modern slavers in the ag industry hate the idea. They and open borders types scour the nation for an odd story about e-verify not working because the SSA had a data flaw, and all that person needed to do is walk in to SSA to correct it. Then the open borders media highlights this story and all pressure Congress to not require E-verify. Requiring e-verify would be more effective than a wall and cost nothing.

    • Replies: @Sowhat
  16. Giuseppe says:
    @Svigor

    The water main is broken, but you are obsessing about a leaky faucet.

  17. dvorak says:

    Lol, a wall can’t protect us from Mexico. OK then how about a DMZ?

    Doesn’t Margolis know that the party line has shifted from “walls don’t work” to “walls work all too well, keeping out the diversity that we need so badly, just look at those white boys who blah blah blah on Dr. MLK, Jr. weekend itself…”

  18. dvorak says:
    @Alistair

    We need similar approach to the rest of the Latin America, we need to help these countries to sustain and restore themselves to functioning states with relative security for families

    You get a Bolsonaro and YOU get a Bolsonaro and YOU

    That’s what you mean, isn’t it (you gasbag)? There hasn’t been a successful Latin American government in history, but the far-right-wing ones came the closest.

  19. peterAUS says:
    @Carlton Meyer

    This is a horrible analogy and the author knows it.

    Yep.

    There is no mention of walls in Israel that no illegal immigrant can cross, nor the South Korean DMZ.

    Yep. Especially the former.

    All Trump has to do, re the wall is implement Israeli solution. Gander, goose.

    As for the illegal immigration, also simple: JAIL the business owners who employ them; including one member of a household where an illegal is employed.

    As for legal immigration, well…one step at the time.

    All this bullshit about this topic is truly funny. Funny how retards get hooked on it. Not people with agendas, oh they know what they are doing. But an average Joe getting so excited about the topic.
    No wonder we are where we are.

    I guess that’s one of the usual “gullibility” games TPTBs play with the “deplorables”. And win, obviously.

  20. Anon[272] • Disclaimer says:

    So Mexicans are going to go by boat caravans to Canada, which is going to let that happen, and then the caravans will cross the U.S.-Canadian border?

    As far as Nazis in tanks coming in from Mexico, that’s O.K. with me. The more Nazi soldiers, the better. Just keeping out the hordes of unskilled poor is enough.

  21. Hail says: • Website
    @Carlton Meyer

    I challenge Mr Margolis to cite just one incident where an illegal immigrant penetrated the Maginot Line

    Right.

    Even keeping the problematic, apples-to-oranges migration-to-military analogy, consider this letter-to-editor in a Maryland local newspaper published Jan. 14, 2019:

    The Maginot Line worked; it forced the Germans to attack elsewhere. Defeat could have been prevented, but the French failed to fully understand what a successful deterrent their wall was. France built the Maginot Line on the border between France and Germany from Switzerland to Belgium.

    For political reasons (they didn’t want to “offend” King Leopold) they stopped at Belgium instead of extending it to the North Sea. The French relied on the Dyle River and the Ardennes in Belgium to stop the Germans. Not extending the wall to the North Sea was the Maginot Line’s Achilles Heel and caused the French defeat.

    Sound familiar?

    • Replies: @Grace Poole
  22. Marat says:

    Reduce the welfare state. qed.

    • Replies: @The Anti-Gnostic
  23. @Hail

    At the outbreak of war France’s border was protected by the impregnable Maginot Line. Belgium, demonstrating “The Triumph of Hope over experience,” had declared itself neutral and forbade the extension of the Line along its border. This meant that an attack on France would come via Belgium.

    The Allied plan, Plan D, was to advance into Belgium and there, because of overall superiority, defeat the Germans. [Isaac Leslie Hore-Belisha, Jewish British Secretary of State for War], far from happy with this Plan, wanted the original defence system strengthened. This was to be done by building 240 pillboxes (small forts).

    The Army told him it would take 3 weeks to construct a pillbox. Belisha ascertained that it would take 3 days. Accordingly he brought to France a team of Civil Engineers to do this. Unfortunately the Army resented them and gave minimal co-operation.

    Belisha now visited France, and attended a meeting of senior officers, which included the commander of the British force, Lord Gort.

    A shocked Belisha found that the 1st item on the agenda was “Over which shoulder should a soldier carry his steel helmet when it was not on his head?” He also found that only 2 pillboxes had been constructed.

    On his return he reported the situation to the Army Council, and informed the Prime Minister who said that if he wanted to sack Lord Gort he would support him. Belisha refused to do this. Instead he sent General Packenham Walsh to convey to Lord Gort the Army Council’s disquiet at the state of his defences.

    In doing this Belisha had committed a breach of etiquette. An officer can only be reprimanded by a senior. Packenham Walsh was junior to Lord Gort.

    This faux pas increased the already deep hostility to Belisha to a blinding rage. Lord Gort referred to him as Belli; His Chief of Staff General Sir Henry Pownell now referred to him as a “Shallow brained, charlatan, political Jew boy”. Michael Foot, later to become leader of the Labour party thought of him as “a shit”. Chips Chanon a prominent socialite referred to him as “An Oily Jew”.

    An army song went:

    “Onward Christian Soldiers,
    You have nothing to fear
    Israel Hore-Belisha will lead you from the rear,
    Clothed by Monty Burton
    Fed on Lyons Pies
    Die for Jewish freedom
    As a Briton always dies.
    Other officers were referring to him as Horeb Elisha.

    Aware of this viscous attitude the Chief of the Imperial General Staff visited France. On his return he supported the Armies attitude, and reported to the King who called in the Prime minister. On January 4th 1940 Belisha was sacked.

    On May 10th the Germans attacked through Belgium, and the British Army following plan D advanced to combat the enemy. They were then completely out flanked

    Harold Levy in The Jewish Magazine
    http://www.jewishmag.com/125mag/hore-belisha/hore-belisha.htm

    • Replies: @Hail
  24. Hail says: • Website
    @Grace Poole

    An army song went:

    Onward Christian Soldiers,
    You have nothing to fear
    Israel Hore-Belisha will lead you from the rear,
    Clothed by Monty Burton
    Fed on Lyons Pies
    Die for Jewish freedom
    As a Briton always dies
    .

    I believe this song was broadcast over the airwaves during Lord Haw Haw’s pro-Axis, English-language propaganda radio broadcasts.

    I assumed the Lord Haw Haw version was entirely the handiwork of someone in the employ of Dr. Goebbels, but maybe the idea came from a song already making rounds in insubordinate corners of British ranks by Sept. 1939, tipped off to Berlin by a spy.

    Googling around, I find the lyrics to the version broadcast by the Germans in 1939-1940. Someone in Berlin, presumably in Goebbels’ ministry, really gave a hearty “political sprucing up” to the song. They played it in the then-trendy, Big Band swing style:


    [MORE]

    Onward conscript army!
    You have naught to fear.
    Isaac Hore-Belisha [UK Jewish War Minister, 1937 to Jan. 1940]
    will lead you from the rear!

    Clad by Monty Burton [UK Jewish clothing mogul Montague Burton]
    fed on Lyons Pies,
    fight for Yiddish conquest,
    while the Briton dies…

    Onward conscript army
    marching on to war:
    Fight and die for Jewry
    as we did before!

    ___________________

    You must die for Poland,
    pay your debt of thanks
    All your benefactors:
    international banks

    To place again the Germans
    beneath the Jewish star.
    Onward to the shambles,
    Goy cattle that you are!

    “Poor, persecuted” Jewry
    will finance war again,
    Forward for the slaughter
    for the Hebrews’ gain.

    __________________

    Driven to the shambles
    like a flock of sheep
    by lying propaganda!
    by their plans laid deep.

    So for Israel Moses Sieff [UK Jewish business tycoon & leading Zionist]
    you must fight and die
    that Marks & Spencer’s neon signs [UK Jewish-owned retailer]
    may still light up our sky.

    Forward, on to Poland
    ten million men shall fall!
    that Judah’s reign of terror
    may hold us all in thrall.

    I would note the lyrical appeals here lean pretty heavily on the “We.” (“Fight and die for Jewry, as we did before,” that is, as we all did before, presumably a reference to 1914-1918.)

    I have no trouble believing Hore-Belisha was forced to step down because of how bad the ‘optics’ were of having a Jewish War Minister directing the (in Pat Buchanan’s phrase, “unnecessary”) war against Germany.

    As for the Maginot Line, I don’t know if I buy that a Jewish genius would have saved the day but was thwarted by anti-Semites. The Maginot Line was AFAIK under construction many years before autumn 1939.

  25. Gordo says:

    So the immigrants are going to land with gliders on The Wall and attack the troops within with flamethrowers while the defender’s guns don’t bear?

    Actually I agree a wall is not needed, it is willpower that is needed. Without that a wall is useless, with it a wall is superfluous.

    Drive them out for the good of your posterity as the founders intended.

    • Replies: @Colin Wright
  26. But the problem was that a wall or barrier is only effective so long as there are adequate troops to man it.

    True, but this has absolutely nothing to do with the failure of the Allies to stop the German invasion. By the way something, which part of the US’s southern border is playing Belgium in this rather dubious comparison?

  27. @Rational

    The Kaiser didn’t use 1,000 volts, he used 2,000 volts for his electric fence:

    The Hun used a stand alone 2,000 volt power generation plant for their fence. Widespread electric power in the USA means we could use 1:2 step down power transformers for an electrified fence.

    Did the Kaiser’s fence work as planned?

    “As Germany invaded neutral Belgium, Belgians began to cross the border to the Netherlands en masse. In 1914 one million Belgian refugees were already in the Netherlands, but throughout the war, refugees kept coming and tried to cross the border. Many wanted to escape German occupation, others wanted to join their relatives who had already fled, and some wanted to take part in the war and chose this detour to join the forces on the allied front.

    “Construction began in the spring of 1915 and consisted of over 200 km (125 mi) of 2,000-volt wire with a height ranging from 1.5 to about 3 m (5 to about 10 ft) spanning the length of the Dutch-Belgian border from Aix-la-Chapelle to the River Scheldt. Within 100–500 m (110–550 yd) of the wire, anyone who was not able to officially explain their presence was summarily executed.

    “The number of victims is estimated to range between 2,000 and 3,000 people. Local newspapers in the Southern Netherlands carried almost daily reports about people who were ‘lightninged to death’.

    “The wire also separated families and friends as the Dutch–Belgian border where Dutch and Flemings (Dutch-speaking Belgians), despite living in different states, often intermarried or otherwise socialized with each other. Funeral processions used to walk to the fence and halt there, to give relatives and friends on the other side the opportunity to pray and say farewell.[3]

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wire_of_Death

  28. @Marat

    It’s hard to shrink the State when it can continually import new constituents.

  29. @Gordo

    ‘…Actually I agree a wall is not needed, it is willpower that is needed. Without that a wall is useless, with it a wall is superfluous…’

    The wall has become a symbol — as walls tend to be.

    It’s now secondary whether it actually stops anyone. If we build it, we have decided to retake control of our borders. If we don’t, we have abdicated that control.

  30. anon1 says:
    @Svigor

    I would ask all readers of this to please note that Eric Margolis never did answer any of my questions.

    But I would be willing to bet he probably lives in a majority white area, even though he writes so disparagingly about them.

  31. Christo says:
    @Rational

    Actually it was France who declared war first and attacked(Saar Offensive) on (Germany) in WWII in the “West” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phoney_War

  32. The point is well taken. Walls to keep enemies out work good as long as the enemy plays by your rules which they never have and never will.

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