SIEGFRIED LINE. The Siegfried Line was the name given by Allied troops to fortifications erected before World War II along Germany's western frontier. The name derived either from a German defensive position of World War I, the Siegfriedstellung, or from the Siegfried legend celebrated in Richard Wagner's operas; it was popularized by a British music hall tune, "We're Going to Hang Out the Washing on the Siegfried Line." Known to the Germans as the Westwall, it was begun in 1938 as a short belt of fortifications opposite France's Maginot Line but later was extended to the Swiss and Dutch frontiers. It was a band three miles deep of more than three thousand concrete pillboxes, troop shelters, and command posts. Where no natural antitank obstacles existed, a belt of pyramidal concrete projections called "dragon's teeth" barred access across the terrain. Touted by German propagandists as impregnable, the line contributed to German success in bluffing France and Great Britain at Munich in 1938.
The line was neglected following German victory over France in 1940; but as Allied armies approached in September 1944, Adolf Hitler decreed that it be held. American attacks concentrated near Aachen penetrated the line, only to be contained by German reserves. An attempt to outflank the line with an airborne attack in the Netherlands failed. Not until early spring of 1945, after German strength had been dissipated in a futile counter-offensive (the Battle of the Bulge), was the line pierced along its full length.
MacDonald, Charles B. The Mighty Endeavor: American Armed Forces in the European Theater in World War II. New York: Oxford University Press, 1969.
———. The Siegfried Line Campaign. Washington, D.C: The Center for Military History, United States Army, 1984.
Prefer, Nathan. Patton's Ghost Corps: Cracking the Siegfried Line. Novato, Calif.: Presidio, 1998.
Charles B.Macdonald/a. r.
"Siegfried Line." Dictionary of American History. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 21, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/siegfried-line
"Siegfried Line." Dictionary of American History. . Retrieved August 21, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/siegfried-line
Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).
Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.
Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:
Modern Language Association
The Chicago Manual of Style
American Psychological Association
- Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
- In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.