The Atlantic Wall
The Atlantic Wall
was an extensive system of coastal defence and fortifications built by Nazi Germany between 1942 and 1944 along the coast of continental Europe and Scandinavia as a defence against an anticipated Allied invasion of Nazi-occupied Europe from the United Kingdom during World War II. The manning and operation of the Atlantic Wall was administratively overseen by the German Army, with some support from Luftwaffe ground forces. The German Navy maintained a separate coastal defense network, organized into a number of sea defense zones.
The Regelbau (standard build) system used books of plans for each of over 600 approved types of bunker and casemate, each having a specific purpose, having been updated as enemy constructions were overrun and examined, even testing some to destruction for effectiveness.
They incorporated standard features, such as an entrance door at right angles, armoured air intake, 30-millimetre (1.2 in) steel doors, ventilation and telephones, internal walls being lined with wood, emergency exit system.There were over 200 standardised armour parts.
The standardisation greatly simplified the manufacture of equipment, the supply of materials and the budgetary and financial control of the construction as well as the speed of planning for construction projects.
To offset shortages, equipment from French and other occupied armies were incorporated in the defences, casemates designed for non-German artillery, anti-tank and machine guns and the use of turrets from obsolete tanks in tobrukstand pill boxes (tobruk pits)
Following the appointment of Hitler as Chancellor, Todt became Inspector General for German Roads (Generalinspektor für das deutsche Straßenwesen) and is involved in the new company to build the Reich motorway network (Reichsautobahnen). Later, he became Head of the Central Office for Technology (Leiter des Hauptamts für Technik in der Reichsleitung der NSDAP) and General Agent for the Regulation of the Building Industry (Generalbevollmächtigter für die Regelung der Bauwirtschaft). In 1938 he founded the organization Todt, in which are associated state enterprises, private companies and the Reich Labor Service (Reichsarbeitsdienst).
In 1940 he was appointed Reich Minister for Armaments and Ammunition (Reichsminister für Bewaffnung und Munition). In 1941, after the invasion of the Soviet Union, he was responsible for the rehabilitation of the infrastructure restructuring in the Russian territories occupied by the Wehrmacht. 1000 kilometers of motorway will be built by Fritz TODT and his organization.
He became more and more distant from the commanders of the Wehrmacht and Hermann Göring in 1941. After an inspection tour on the eastern front, he complained to Hitler about the poor quality of the equipment and supplies he receives, suggesting that it was better to end the war with the Soviets. He was responsible for the implementation of the policy of manufacturing weapons and ammunition. He has a great knowledge of the United States and understands in December 1941 that the Reich can no longer win the war, because of the failure of the German army before Moscow and the entry into the war of the United States. Thus, in the entourage of Hitler, he advocated a change of direction, including an end to the war against the Western allies so as to focus the war effort on Russia.
Death in the explosion of an airplane , on February 8, 1942, when he had just left a meeting with Hitler at the Wolfsschanze, the headquarters of the Führer near Rastenburg in East Prussia, his plane exploded in flight and crashed. His successor as Minister of the Reich is Albert Speer, who almost took the same aicraft.