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Fortifications and the European military balance before 1914

Stevenson, David (2012) Fortifications and the European military balance before 1914. Journal of Strategic Studies, 35 (6). pp. 829-859. ISSN 0140-2390

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Identification Number: 10.1080/01402390.2012.694816


This article analyses the evolution of permanent fortifications in Europe between 1870 and 1914. Despite the introduction in the 1880s of high explosive shells, intensive construction continued until the eve of war. Fortifications figured prominently in armaments budgets and in offensive as well as defensive strategic planning, while their design changed radically. Nonetheless, the pattern of development worked against the Central Powers. Austria-Hungary concentrated against Italy at the expense of the Balkans and Galicia; Germany concentrated on Alsace-Lorraine, neglecting the east until 1912. Whereas France modernised its eastern fortresses, Belgium did little, enticing Germany into the envelopment strategy that would draw Britain into the First World War.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2012 Taylor & Francis
Divisions: International History
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D901 Europe (General)
U Military Science > U Military Science (General)
Date Deposited: 15 Nov 2012 09:53
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 00:23

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