The Maginot Line was a World War II era line of defenses in France, intended to protect the country from a potential German attack. The line was named after Andre Maginot, the French Minister of War and consisted of weapons and fortifications along France's eastern border. The Maginot Line was constructed in the years before World War II and was mostly built in response to France's history of warfare with Germany. For example, Europe had just emerged from the devastation of World War I, which saw much of the trench warfare occur on French soil. France hoped to avoid further destruction and to prevent another German attack. The line extended from the Alps in the south to where France bordered Belgium in the north. France did not extend the Maginot Line all the way to the English Channel in the north due to the belief that a German attack through the Ardennes Forest in Belgium was impossible.
In general, the Maginot was an excellent defensive set of structures. The line included concrete bunkers with mounted artillery guns, railroad connections for supplies and the ability to garrison many French troops. However, the Maginot Line ultimately proved ineffective in the Battle of France at the outset of World War II. German forces bypassed the Maginot Line and instead invaded Belgium through the Ardennes. France, overall, was caught off guard by the German attack and quickly fell to the impressive blitzkrieg attack. In fact, the German attack was so successful that British troops were forced off of mainland Europe at Dunkirk, and left France to defend itself. In the end, the Maginot Line did nothing to help prevent a German attack and likely led to France having a false sense of security at the outset of World War II.