Archive for September, 2000
The Maginot Line, a defensive string of forts with enfilading firepower, was built by France between WWI and WWII. Conceived by Minister of War André Maginot, it was meant to forestall another German invasion until troops could arrive. But the French began to think of the line as a substitute for manpower. When Belgium declared neutrality and exposed France’s flank, Germany was able to sidestep the line. We’ll visit the “impregnable” line’s forts, observation turrets, and underground railroads.
In 1954, Gamal Abdel Nasser, the Arab Republic of Egypt’s first prime minister, had a plan to bring his poor country into the 20th century. To pull it off, he needed to harness the flow of the world’s longest river–the Nile. The ambitious plan called for construction of a high dam in southern Egypt at Aswan. But the builders of the pyramids and the Suez Canal were no strangers to large undertakings. We’ll see how the Aswan High Dam socially, politically, culturally, and agriculturally affected Egypt.