Following the defeat of France in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71 and the absorption of the provinces of Alsace and Lorraine into the newly formed German Empire, the German Army decided to construct a fortress line from Strasbourg to Luxembourg to protect their new territory and counter the great fortress system that was being built from Switzerland to Belgium, the centerpiece of which was the great Moselstellung (Moselle Position) of Metz/Thionville.
The fortress consisted of concrete batteries that fired 10 and 15cm guns from steel turrets, concrete barracks, infantry strong points with ditches defended by casemates, and concrete trenches with shelters and steel observation cupolas. The entire position was surrounded by a wide belt of barbed wire entanglements that were defended by machine gun and rifle positions, and hidden from the view of the attacker. Illustrated with photographs and full color cutaway artwork, this book examines the design and development of the fortress and analyzes its use in combat, focusing particularly on the part it played in holding up General Patton's Third Army's advance across France in 1944
"This book is a most welcome addition to the Fortress series... I found the subject, and the book, fascinating, and highly recommend the book." -Bolling Smith, Coast Defense Journal (November 2008)
"... an excellent concise reference covering the German forts of Metz... This will be one of the books in the series you will certainly want to include in your collection." -J.E. Kauffman (October 2008)
"... As in all books in the series, the condition of extant works and one's ability to currently access them is provided. All of this is additionally enhanced by period photos, images of the extant sites and the superb art work of Brian Delf. The book will be especially useful to the modeler who likes to do dioramas as there are a nearly unlimited number of possibilities shown in these pages." -Scott Van Aken, modelingmadness.com (October 2008)
The German Fortress of Metz 1870-1944 by Clayton Donnell