Appendix 15
Note by the Ministry of National Defence,
dated March 28th, 1940,
on the Defensive Works carried out since the Beginning of the Conflict

A FORMIDABLE steel barrier divides the interior of the country and forms a practically impassable barrier to probable attacks by armoured tanks. The wall of steel constructed by our untrained builders is at present 70 km. long. It represents a weight of over 30,000 tons; 34,000 tons of steel framework, 1,000 tons of steel cables, 150 tons of camouflage colouring, and about 600 tons of various materials. Thus, 35,000 tons of steel have been put in position in open country, across fields, woods and marshes, floods, rivers and railways,leaving no loophole for the assailant.

Every difficulty has been overcome--gradients, mud, water. Neither rain nor snow nor cold have stopped the work for one second. In temperatures as low as -16°, when the cold was so intense that the heavy pieces of steel stuck to the hands of the men, they doggedly continued to raise this formidable barrier across our fields and woods. From November 1st to December 31st, during the rainiest season, when the winter was already very severe, our soldiers raised a steel wall 30 km. long in a sea of mud, in water and in the cold.


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