CHECKING OUT THE SIEGFRIED LINE
Cruising along the highway near Monschau, Germany, my partner Stella suddenly screeched to a halt and pointed out a line of tooth-like concrete structures stretching at least a kilometer or more into the distance. “The Siegfried Line!”, she exclaimed.
Intrigued, I wanted to know more. She explained that the Siegfriend Line or Westwall was a series of defensive structures and bunkers located along the border areas of German with the Netherlands and Belgium. Designed to intercept tanks during World War II, the solid concrete “dragons’ teeth” as they were known, provided a very serious impediment for tanks to traverse during the major allied offensive called “The Battle of the Bulge”. Ultimately the Siegfried line failed in its purpose. The remnants are unmarked, no doubt indicating that the German’s would like to forget this particular part of their history. Surrounded by barbed wire they are located in the midst of farm fields. Isolated as they are they now serve as belts of undisturbed terrain where certain rare species of plants and animals thrive where they have no opportunity to do elsewhere. So these ominous structures now serve a positive purpose for which they were never intended!
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