Atlantic Wall: the name

The name Atlantic Wall is quite misleading because it is not actually a wall, but rather a line consisting of separate support points. These support points were meant to defend the most important strategic points along the European west coast and the name refers to the construction programme that began in the autumn of 1942. 15,000 bunkers were to be built along the coasts of the Netherlands, Belgium and France.


The Atlantic Wall has a second meaning as well. It is also the name of a German propaganda offensive meant to promote the defence of the West European coast, from the North Cape to the Spanish border, as an impenetrable stronghold. Films and posters left nothing to the imagination about the chances of an allied invasion. It was doomed to fail! The slogan ‘Atlantic Wall, 1943 is not 1918’ says it all. Germany would not be humiliated again as it was in 1918, at the end of WWI. There would be no truce or conditions of peace this time.