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Andre Maginot
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    (February 17, 1877-January 7, 1932)
    Born in Paris, France
    Member of the Chamber of Deputies (1910-14,1917-32)
    Minister of War (1922-24,1929-30,1931-32)
    Lobbied for the construction of a series of fortifications along the French-German border, from Switzerland to Belgium
    After his death, the forts were named 'the Maginot Line'
    The Maginot Line proved to be a classic case of a military planning to re-fight the previous war instead of preparing for the next war.
    The Maginot Line stopped at the Belgian border ostensibly to avoid compromising Belgian neutrality.
    The real reason was to force any invading German army to go through Belgium, where the French army intended to meet them, so that most of the fighting (and the associated damage) would occur on Belgian soil.
    Due to the expense of building and maintaining the Line, other parts of the French armed forces were underfunded and under equipped.
    During World War II, the German army invaded through the Ardennes Forest, ignored the Maginot Line, and conquered France in six weeks.
    During the Battle of Verdun in World War I, he was shot in the leg and walked with a limp for the rest of his life.
    He was awarded the Medaille Militaire for valor.
    He correctly predicted that Germany would emerge as a threat again.
    Apologists have argued that the Maginot Line worked as planned, since Germany was dissuaded from attacking it directly.

Credit: C. Fishel

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