The Atlantic Wall (German: Atlantikwall) was an extensive system of coastal defence and fortifications built by Germany between 1942 and 1944 along the coast of continental Europe and Scandinavia as a defence against an anticipated Allied invasion of Europe.
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 defence network, organised into a number of sea defence zones.
Adolf Hitler ordered the construction of the fortifications in 1942. Almost a million French workers were drafted to build it. The wall was frequently mentioned in National Socialist propaganda. The fortifications included colossal coastal guns, batteries, mortars, and artillery, and thousands of German troops were stationed in its defences.
Today, ruins of the wall exist in all of the nations where it was built, although many structures have fallen into the ocean or have been demolished over the years.
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