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Thread: Worlds second largest defensive line after Chinese wall

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    Senior Member Falco's Avatar
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    Impressive, Is it still intact or has some portions of it been dismantled.

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    Banned user S'13's Avatar
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    Interesting, however I think history has shown us not to rely too much on defensive lines, for example: the Chinese Wall which you have already mentioned, the Maginot Line and the Bar Lev Line. Although the main reason the Bar Lev Line failed was the lack of preparation and forces. These kinds of strategies are mostly effective in wars of attrition but of course less effective when mobile forces are involved.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Falco
    Impressive, Is it still intact or has some portions of it been dismantled.
    Well many of the bunkers is still there. Destroying a bunker that could withstand
    a 500 kg bomb is not very easy, but for anti-tank obstacles and such, farmers
    have removed them etc, but large parts of the defensive line is still there. Some of
    them have become museums etc. And the defensive line goes thru many national
    parks as well, so when hiking in these areas itīs quite popular to check out the
    defensive line as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by S'13
    Interesting, however I think history has shown us not to rely too much on defensive lines, for example: the Chinese Wall which you have already mentioned, the Maginot Line and the Bar Lev Line. Although the main reason the Bar Lev Line failed was the lack of preparation and forces. These kinds of strategies are mostly effective in wars of attrition but of course less effective when mobile forces are involved.


    The thing with estern Finland, and southestern Finland in particular around the
    Lake district Saimaa is that it looks like that. Itīs not exactly "tank country",
    and as said the defensive line was built in naturally "difficult" areas. Personally
    I believe that the success of the line depended much on wether the Finnish army
    could or could not retreat to it successfully, and if they then would have anything
    to give. In 1944 the Finnish army was quite much down on its knees after all those
    years of war, and the heavy battles (in example the Nordic countries largest
    battle of all times at Tali-Ihantala etc), it was pretty much the same divisions
    fighting all the time, when Red Army in turn could throw in new fresh divisions
    all the time.

    ________________________________________

    Some more pics from the Salpa-line today


    Bunker today, give it 50 more years and it will look like a natural
    hill in the nature, itīs a Class 1 bunker. Class I bunkers were designed to
    withstand continuous indirect fire hits from 305mm shells, direct fire hits
    from 210mm guns, single hits from 420 mm shells and hits from 500-
    1000 kg bombs.



    In some places turrets from captured tanks were used as well, here a
    turret from a T-26, that would be armed with a 45 mm gun and a 7.62 MG



    45 mm anti-tank gun from the other side, notice the rings were extra
    camouflage and protection could be attached



    Observation cupola *****ped of all camouflage. Often they were maked
    to look like boulders or other natural objects



    Camouflaged observation cupola


    And the bunkers were of course protected by infantry in more traditional
    infantry field positions



    Gun enplacement for a 152 mm field howitzer, near the
    area there is another one, those two howitzers formed a
    battery (with a range of 19 km).



    Anti-tank gun, hm, looks like a german-supplied 75 mm


    Kuivasaari coastal artillery, not Salpa line, but just to
    to visualize that there was also defences along the coast
    in the south, thatīs why the Soviets never tried out a
    amphibious landing there "in the back", it would have
    costed a lot in blood

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    Banned user Kitsune's Avatar
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    Mustamato,
    as far as I know the Chinese wall has also never been used.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Kitsune
    Mustamato,
    as far as I know the Chinese wall has also never been used.

    Yes it has been, it was used to fend off Mongol attacks.

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    You were right, I'd never heard of it, nor in fact of most of the stuff you've posted concerning post Winter War Finland, so thanks a lot.

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    Senior Member Rantanplan's Avatar
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    Wow, its even more then twice so long as the germanic Limes (550 km)

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    Weren't the japanese who built an entire ship on an island during WWII, with the big guns and everything...it received his ration of bombs and became useless....

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    "Wise and Grumpy" Ban Stick Wielder of Death digrar's Avatar
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    In Australia during WWII we had the Brisbane line, a notional line stretching almost 2000km, cuting off the south east corner of our country from Brisbane to Adelaide. If the Japanese invaded we would concede ground to the North and West of this line while we moved around and picked them off.
    It was defended by few fixed defenses, instead relying on the harsh Australian outback and massive line of supply to do the damage.
    With the Americans we stopped the Japanese in the Pacific Islands and it was never used, but knowledge of the line was hotly denied by the government of the day who didn't want to concede that they were only going to defend a quarter of the country. Although evidence to the contrary indicates that it was the policy of the day.

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    Dunno about the Japanese island battleship, but I suspect it would've been based on the Fort Drum (?) built by the Americans in the Phillipines. The thing with bigass fortresses and defense lines like that was - you got a LOT of men tied up in static positions - and the enemy (if he is smart) will always outnumber you wherever he chooses to strike.

    Which is why "the best defense is offense"

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    Senior Member wholagun's Avatar
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    Wow thats cool thanks for posting that. I am very interested in these kinds of things like bunkers and defensive lines. very good post.

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    Mustamato,

    is the 152 field howitzer enplacement in Lemi? It surely looks like the one near my summer cottage. The terrain is scattered by trenches and blown up bunkers all around.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Elmo
    Mustamato,

    is the 152 field howitzer enplacement in Lemi? It surely looks like the one near my summer cottage. The terrain is scattered by trenches and blown up bunkers all around.
    Yep, itīs in Lemi.

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    The Maginot Line, often quoted as an example of military ineptitude, was in fact effective on the different places where the Germans attacked it.
    It's only after turning them around and cutting the different defensive sectors from their supplies that most of the Maginot "ouvrages" had to lay down their arms.

    Its main flaw was that it was not finished at the beginning of WW2. It was thus easy to go around it by the Ardennes area.

    On the Alps front, all the Maginot positions attacked by the Italians were successfully held and caused massive casualties to the Fascist armies.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by fantassin
    The Maginot Line, often quoted as an example of military ineptitude, was in fact effective on the different places where the Germans attacked it.
    It's only after turning them around and cutting the different defensive sectors from their supplies that most of the Maginot "ouvrages" had to lay down their arms.

    Its main flaw was that it was not finished at the beginning of WW2. It was thus easy to go around it by the Ardennes area.

    On the Alps front, all the Maginot positions attacked by the Italians were successfully held and caused massive casualties to the Fascist armies.
    The Maginot-line doesn't go further south than to Belfort. Though the italians were halted in some kind of half hearted offensive in the south of france.

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