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April 9, 2019

The Maginot Line

At the end of the Great War back in the year of 19 and 18, the war to end all wars except that it didn’t end all wars as many ends of wars start new ones later just so we have that all clear...and all that destruction otherwise known as World War I, the French built a massive fortification, not fornification, though that might have distracted the Germans more...facing the German border to keep them Jerrys out of the vineyards if they should decide to attack would be a massive deterrent or so they thought...old generals with old thinking thought any future battles would be similar to what they saw at The Somme, Ardennes Forest, or The Battle of The Marne, or Verdun...the slug it out ‘No Man’s Land’ trench warfare that took place in WWI and that they would have the advantage with the Maginot was full of weapons, obstructions, concrete fortifications, fornications, and miscalculations...the guns were fixed facing Germany and weren’t designed to when the time came, the Germans simply went through Belgium and around the vaunted Maginot Line while the Luftwaffe pilots from their Messerschmitts cheekily waved at it on their way by...oh, those funny Germans...this was all part of the Blitzkrieg of course...there were a couple of the fortifications that were attacked at various times and they actually did do their job...but the Germans captured a chunk of France and I understand after the fall of France, it made for some excellent photographic areas and pictures of German soldiers posing by the Maginot Line were quite popular...this of course led to Paris eventually falling into enemy hands on the 14th of June 1940...this of course led to pictures of Hitler walking around and having his picture taken on the Champs De Elysee, and in front of the Eiffel Tower...damned tourist...when the cameras weren’t rolling, he probably was wearing shorts, black socks and sandals and had a camera around his neck...the Germans would very careful not to bomb Paris...not because they loved the local Parisiens, but because there were plenty of historical relics and expensive paintings to steal...and steal they did...taking millions of dollars of antiques and shipping them back mostly via railway car to Germany and also storing them in places like Poland...the tide turned and the Allies came back into France via Normandy...and later, as the Allied forces approached the City of Lights, Hitler ordered Paris destroyed, but his generals refused and Paree was left virtually unscathed by the retreating forces of doom...these days, after France withdrew from NATO’s military component (back in 1966) a lot of the line was abandoned, with NATO facilities turned back over to the French for the rest of it, it was auctioned-off to the general public or just left to decay in the French weather...I understand that there’s quite a few of the old fortifications that have now been converted into wine cellars...there is/was a mushroom farm on some of the property and even a disco where people with no knowledge of cares about what it once was, can dance the night away...some people have even built houses atop some of the blockhouses, which would be cool to have...with a wine cellar and a disco...don’t care about the mushrooms unless they are ‘magic’ ones.