- German World War II strongholds
German strongholds during World War II ( _de.
Festung“ fortresses”) were the selected towns and cities so designated by Adolf Hitlerto resist the Allied offensives where the defenders were ordered to defend them at all costs. The doctrine of these strongholds evolved towards the end of World War II, when the German leadership had not yet accepted defeat, but had begun to realize that drastic measures were required to forestall offensives on the Reich which were inevitable. The first such stronghold became the Stalingrad ( Battle of Stalingrad).
Later on the Eastern Front, Warsaw, Budapest, Kolberg, Königsberg, Küstrin, Danzig and Breslau were some of the large cities selected as strongholds whilst on the Western Front locations included the British island of
The fate of the strongholds varied. Stalingrad, the first of the "fortresses" to fall is seen as a crucial turning point in the war, and one of the key battles which lead to German defeat. In several cases (Breslau and
Alderney, for example) the fortresses were bypassed by the attackers and did not actually fall until long after they had been neutralised (though fighting in Breslau was sustained).
* [http://www.bbc.co.uk/guernsey/about_guernsey/2003/10/festung_alderney.shtml BBC article on Alderney]
* , ISBN 0-06-097468-0, the history of
Europe; page 1038
* [http://www.achtungpanzer.com/articles/bres.htm Festung Breslau/Fortress Wrocław]
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