Author(s): Neil Short
In the years following the Civil War, plans were drawn up to build a major set of fortifications along the Russian western border. Work began in 1926, leading to a front that stretched over 2,000km from the Baltic to the Black Sea. By the time of the outbreak of World War II, the defences of the Stalin Line, as it was known, were largely complete - but were also now too far behind the new Soviet border to be of any use in potential offensives. Stalin took steps to create a new defensive line inside Poland, which came to be known by the name of the Soviet Foreign Minister, Molotov. This book details the development of these lines, and the fighting that took place around them in 1941.
This book tells the story of these Soviet defensive systems, their design, construction, and combat history. With excellent illustrations, it describes the standard types of construction and the weapons they contained. The text is a model of clarity, which puts the complicated history into a coherent narrative, and the maps, while not numerous, are effective. The book closes with suggestions for places to visit remains of the Russian defenses. This is one of the best-written books in the series, and is highly recommended even to those unfamiliar with Soviet fortifications. "Bolling Smith, Coast Defense Journal (November 2008)" Surveys World War I Soviet Western defenses, considering plans to build fortifications and analyzing Stalin's steps to remedy faults in defenses. "California Bookwatch (November 2008)" Author Neil Short covers the design and development of these [sites], some of which were simply machine gun, some of which had artillery and some that used old tank turrets ... The book will be especially useful to the modeler who likes to do dioramas as there are a nearly unlimited number of possibilities shown in these pages. "Scott Van Aken, modelingmadness.com (September 2008)" [This book] has more details and information than any other book on the topic written in English, German or French. The author includes a history of the development of both fortified lines and describes the types of structures used from machine positions to the forts that consisted of several combat blocks. The photos and drawings provide good detail on these fortifications along with maps showing the fortified sectors... Both the history buff, and those especially interested in fortifications, will want this book in their library. "J.E. Kaufmann (September 2008)""
After completing an Honors Degree in History at the University of Lancaster, Neil Short gained a Master's Degree in Military History at the University of Leeds. He is a fully qualified Management Accountant working for the Ministry of Defence, but in his spare time undertakes research on World War II. He has previously written on Hitler's Siegfried Line in Sutton's Fortress Europe series; and for Osprey has written Fortress 15: Germany's West Wall and Fortress 45: German Defences in Italy. The author lives in Bristol, UK.