The Atlantikwall

The Atlantic Wall was a coastal defense built by the Germans in order to prevent an Allied invasion from the North Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. The Line ran from Lapland via Norway, through Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium and France all the way to the border with Spain. In total 2685 kilometers.

The Atlantic Wall was not a connected defensive wall but a system of strategically positioned coastal batteries, obstructions and support bunkers. It was equipped with anti-aircraft, anti-tank guns and guns aimed at invading vessels.

In the Netherlands, the Fortress Hook of Holland and the Festung IJmuiden were the most important - and the most heavily armed. The first one defended the New Waterway and in the land behind of the port of Rotterdam, the second defended the port of Amsterdam. Less important were those in Den Helder and Vlissingen.

Only when the Allied armies on June 6, 1944 - D-Day - Normandy broke through the Atlantic Wall in various places, and were able to advance further into Europe, could it be said that the defensive function of the Atlantic Wall had failed.

Remnants of the Atlantic Wall are still visible at various locations in the Netherlands.Good starting points for a visit are:
Atlanticwall Museum in Hoek van Holland
Het Atlantikwall Museum Noordwijk
and the Atlantikwall Museum Scheveningen (

General Friedrich Christiansen inspects the Atlantic Wall fortifications in France.
Source: German Federal Archive, Bild 101I-719-0204-06A / Johannes Hähle

Erwin Rommel inspects the Atlantic Wall along with other officers.
Source: German Federal Archive, Bild 101I-719-0243-33 / Jesse

A 40.6 cm Jesse 'Adolf' cannon protected the coast of France.
Source: German Federal Archive, Bild 101I-719-0204-03A / Johannes Hähle

Atlantic wall fortifications in France.
Source: German Federal Archive, Bild 101I-364-2314-16A / Kuhn

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