World: Dilatory Demolition

In the quiet days of the Phony War, the so-called Sitzkrieg that lasted from September 1939 until German Panzer divisions overran the Low Countries and France in May 1940, British troops sang confidently: "We're gonna hang out the washing on the Siegfried Line . . ." For all that bravado, the line loomed as a forbidding obstacle. It stretched 350 miles, from Switzerland to The Netherlands, studded with 20,000 bunkers and countless concrete antitank traps known as "dragon's teeth." Not until late 1944 was the Siegfried Line tested in battle; by early 1945, Allied troops had punched through its defenses and...

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