This week in the War, 6–12 December 1943: Rommel is to head ‘Fortress Europe’
Field Marshal Rommel (centre) inspects a bunker on the Atlantic Wall, France [Bundesarchiv, Bild 101l-295-1596-10/ Kurth/CC-BY-SA
This week in the war, on 12 December 1943, Hitler appointed Field Marshal Erwin Rommel head of Fortress Europe
—charged with strengthening Hitler’s so-called Atlantic Wall
with a view to repelling any future Allied invasions.
The Atlantic Wall was a series of beach defenses, gun emplacements and bunkers that ran from northern Norway and along the coasts of Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium and France until it reached the frontier with Spain.
Rommel had not succeeded in holding on to North Africa in the face of the much stronger forces commanded by Montgomery and Eisenhower. By June 1944, the same history with the same actors would be replaying in northern France.
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