THE FORTRESS THAT NEVER WAS by Rodney G. Minott

THE FORTRESS THAT NEVER WAS

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

While the Allied Armies tilted at a phantom, the Russians took Berlin. In 945, Elsenhower shifted the axis of the Western Allied attack from the north and Berlin the south and Bavaria, Austria and Northern Italy, to dispel the possibility of a -ditch German stand in the Alps after Berlin. Rumor of an Alpenfestung (a fabled pine fortress system) pushed the Allies to give birth to the grandly illogical logic the fortress existed. Soon, it did exist, but only in intelligence reports and Goebbels' propaganda leaks to the Allies. Hadn't Hitler cried stand-and-die at Stalingrad, Normandy, North Africa? A major mixup behind our misguided maneuver was that the Allied intelligence groups, all lumped together under SHAEF, did not use similar methods. British intelligence stressed the enemy's likeliest action and possible alternatives. American intelligence was simply a mass of information handed to a senior desk officer (usually incompetent at G-2), with all the interpretation left to him. Also, Marshall, back in Washington, swallowed the fortress theory and agreed with Eisenhower. The worst is that naive Americans did not use their intelligence for political purposes (beating the Russians to Berlin and Prague) but merely military ends. The story of Alpenfestung, or Eisenhower and the Wind-mill, deserves to be widely read.

Pub Date: Aug. 3rd, 1964
Publisher: Solt, Rinehart & Winston