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“They shall not pass.” The slogan of the Maginot line adorns the covers of many works proudly describing the most incredible fortification line ever built in Europe. Stretching from Belgium to the Alps, designed by an army of ingenious military engineers, this colossal megastructure was a network of fortified bunkers connected by high-tech tunnels and defended by relentless artillery crossfire. It was meant to be an impenetrable obstacle. And yet…. In May 1940, Nazi armored divisions were able to circumnavigate the Maginot line and cross into France through the Ardennes forest. Hitler’s armies invaded France in only a few days. Mocked for its exorbitant cost, criticized for its relative futility, the Maginot line remains the subject of much heated debate. How was it built? What role did it really play in France’s war campaign? And how did the enemy manage to pierce the seemingly unpierceable? Join us as we unravel the secrets of the Maginot line.
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