Fortress Europe

Fortress Europe (German: Festung Europa) was a military propaganda term used by both sides of the Second World War which referred to the areas of Continental Europe occupied by Nazi Germany, as opposed to the United Kingdom across the Channel.

World War II defenses

Allied Invasion Force
D-day assault map of Normandy and northwest coastal France

In British phraseology, Fortress Europe meant the battle honour accorded to Royal Air Force and Allied squadrons during the war, but to qualify, operations had to be made by aircraft based in Britain against targets in Germany, Italy and other parts of German-occupied Europe, in the period from the fall of France to the Normandy invasion.

Simultaneously, the term Festung Europa was being used by Nazi propaganda, namely to refer to Hitler's and the Wehrmacht's plans to fortify the whole of occupied Europe, in order to prevent invasion from the British Isle's troops. These measures included the construction of the Atlantic wall, along with reorganization of the Luftwaffe for air defense. This use of the term Fortress Europe was subsequently adopted by correspondents and historians in the English language to describe the military efforts of the Axis powers at defending the continent from the Allies.

Postwar usage

Demonstration against Morten Kjærum in Vienna
Far-right activists at a Identitarian Movement of Austria rally in Vienna on November 10, 2013.

Currently, within Europe, the term is used either to describe dumping effect of external borders in commercial matters,[1] or as a pejorative description of the state of immigration into the European Union. This can be in reference either to attitudes toward immigration, to border fortification policies pursued for instance in the Spanish North African enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla[2] or to the system of border patrols and detention centers that are used to help prevent illegal immigration into the European Union.[3]

For conservative parties such as the Freedom Party of Austria, 'Fortress Europe' is a positive term. They mostly claim that such a fortress does not really exist yet, and that illegal immigrants can enter Europe far too easily. They often charge the southern states with insufficient border control, claiming that the latter are acting on the knowledge that immigrants tend to be more attracted to western/northern states with more generous welfare systems (Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Sweden etc.). Conservatives all over Europe want to end the Schengen Agreement and to re-install border controls because they say it not leads to mass migration of illegals and also free traffic of criminals.[4] Changes in the Schengen treaties have come into effect in the wake of this criticism.[5]

Controlled external borders

See also

  • Hindenburg Line, German defences on the Western Front of World War I
  • Siegfried Line, German defences against France in World War II
  • Maginot Line, French defenses against Germany constructed for World War II
  • Iron Curtain, dividing line through Europe during the Cold War
  • Salpa Line, The last fortified defence line of Finland against the Soviet Union in World War II


  1. ^ J. Hyun, Korean Automotive Foreign Direct Investment in Europe: Effects of Economic Integration Motivations and Patterns of FDI and Industrial Location, Springer, 2003, p. 101.
  2. ^ Castan Pinos, J. (2009) 'Building Fortress Europe? Schengen and the Cases of Ceuta and Melilla' Centre for International Border Research (CIBR)-WP18/2009: 1-29.
  3. ^ "Autonomous rear Entrances to Fortress Europe?!".
  4. ^ The City Paper Staff. "An end to Schengen?". The City Paper Bogotá.
  5. ^ "EU moves to end passport-free Schengen travel". 12 May 2011.
2016 Prague Declaration

The Prague Declaration was a declaration released by a number of right-wing anti-Islam groupings after a meeting held in Roztoky, near Prague, Czech Republic on 23 January 2016. It was on an initiative by Lutz Bachmann, founder of Pegida.

The signatories to the declaration were Blok proti islámu, Eesti Konservatiivne Rahvaerakond, Lega Nord, Odvaha, Pegida Austria, Pegida Bulgaria, Pegida Germany, Pegida Netherlands, Ruch Narodowy and Úsvit - Národní Koalice.

Those present signed the declaration known as the 2016 Prague Declaration calling in unison, "We are Fortress Europe," and then in German, "Wir sind Festung Europa."

403 Helicopter Operational Training Squadron

403 "City of Calgary" (Helicopter) Operational Training Squadron (403 Sqn) is a squadron of the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) located at Canadian Forces Base Gagetown. It is equipped with CH-146 Griffons and provides operational aircrew training to the crews who will fly the helicopter. The squadron also conducts operational test and evaluation, develops aviation tactics and carries out operations in support of the 1 Wing mission. It also supports the local Army requirements of the Combat Training Centre. It was founded as No. 403 Squadron RCAF.

A pilot will spend three months at Gagetown learning to fly the Griffon before being posted to one of 1 Wing's five operational squadrons. While at Gagetown, pilots learn advanced aircraft handling, including slinging and hoisting, tactical formation, flying and low-level tactical flying.

405 Maritime Patrol Squadron

405 Long Range Patrol Squadron is a unit of the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) within the Canadian Forces, initially formed as No. 405 Squadron RCAF during the Second World War.

409 Tactical Fighter Squadron

409 Tactical Fighter Squadron (French: 409e Escadron d'appui tactique) is a unit of the Royal Canadian Air Force. The squadron operates the CF-18 Hornet from CFB Cold Lake in Alberta, Canada.

416 Tactical Fighter Squadron

416 "City of Oshawa" Tactical Fighter Squadron (416 TFS) was a unit of the Canadian Forces and the Royal Canadian Air Force. The squadron operated the CF-18 Hornet fighter jet from CFB Cold Lake in Alberta, Canada. In 2006, 416 TFS stood down and was amalgamated with 441 Tactical Fighter Squadron to form 409 Tactical Fighter Squadron.

The unit was originally formed during the Second World War as a unit of the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF).

426 Transport Training Squadron

426 Transport Training Squadron is a unit of the Canadian Forces under Royal Canadian Air Force, located at CFB Trenton in Trenton, Ontario. It originated as a squadron in the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) that fought during the Second World War as a bomber squadron.

The motto of the squadron is "On Wings of Fire" and the squadron's badge contains a Thunderbird. The badge refers to the squadron's Thunderbird designation.

433 Tactical Fighter Squadron

433 Squadron is a unit of the Canadian Forces under the Royal Canadian Air Force.

441 Tactical Fighter Squadron

441 Tactical Fighter Squadron was a unit of the Canadian Forces. It was originally formed as a unit of the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) during the Second World War. The squadron operated the McDonnell Douglas CF-18 Hornet fighter jet from CFB Cold Lake in Alberta, Canada. It was deactivated in 2006.

Battle and theatre honours of the Royal Australian Air Force

The Royal Australian Air Force and its forerunners have won many battle and theatre honours since their formation.

Egypt (1915-17)

Palestine (1917-18)

Western Front (1917-18)

Defence of Britain (1940-45)

Atlantic (1939-45)


English Channel and North Sea 1939-45


Baltic (1939-45)

Fortress Europe (1940-44)

France and Germany (1944-45)

Biscay Ports (1940-45)

Ruhr (1940-45)

Berlin (1940-45)

German Ports (1940-45)

Normandy 1944



Biscay (1940-45)

S.E. Europe (1942-45)

Egypt and Libya (1940-43)

El Alamein

El Hamma

North Africa (1942-43)

Mediterranean (1940-43)

Sicily 1943

Italy (1943-45)

Anzio and Nettuno

Gustav Line

Gothic Line

Eastern Waters (1941-45)

Arctic (1940-45)

Russia (1941-45)

Syria 1941

Pacific (1941-45)

Malaya (1941-42)

Darwin (1941-44)

Rabaul 1942

Coral Sea

New Guinea (1942-44)

Moresby (1943-44)

Milne Bay

Bismark Sea

New Britain 1943

Markham Valley (1943-44)

Dutch New Guinea 1944


South China Sea (1944-45)

Philippines (1944)

Borneo 1945

Malaya (1948–60)

Thai-Malay (1960–66)

Malaysia (Confrontation 1962–66)

Ubon, Thailand (1962–66)

East Timor (1999–2000)

Iraq (2003)

Enemy of the Enemy

Enemy of the Enemy is an album by British band Asian Dub Foundation, released on 3 February 2003. It was the first ADF album to be released following the departure of rapper Deeder Zaman.

Track four features Sinéad O'Connor.

La Gazzetta del Mezzogiorno

La Gazzetta del Mezzogiorno is an Italian daily newspaper, founded in 1887 in Bari, Italy. It is one of the most important newspapers published in Southern Italy with most of its readers living in Apulia and Basilicata.

Maxim Gorky Fortresses

Maxim Gorky I and Maxim Gorky II (Russian designation: Coast Batteries #30 and #35) were coastal batteries used by the Soviet Union in the Crimea during World War II in the Crimean Campaign. The invading German forces during the Second World War gave the batteries their English name: Maxim Gorky (a famous Soviet author and political activist). This is not their Russian names.

No. 414 Squadron RCAF

No. 414 Squadron RCAF is a Royal Canadian Air Force squadron. It is currently located in Ottawa and conducts electronic warfare support training for other units in the Canadian Armed Forces.

No. 421 Squadron RCAF

No. 421 Squadron RCAF was a unit of the Royal Canadian Air Force. It was the last RCAF fighter squadron to be formed in the UK during World War II.


Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the Occident (German: Patriotische Europäer gegen die Islamisierung des Abendlandes), abbreviated Pegida (German: [peˈɡiːda]), is a German nationalist, anti-Islam, far-right political movement. Founded in Dresden in October 2014, Pegida believes that Germany is being increasingly Islamicized and defines itself in opposition to Islamic extremism.

Pegida wants to curb immigration, and accuses authorities of not enforcing existing immigration laws. Pegida has held many demonstrations; often there have been many public demonstrations against them as well. In 2015, the founder of Pegida resigned after being reported as having posed as Adolf Hitler and having made racist statements on Facebook. He was later reinstated.Offshoots of Pegida have been formed in various countries.

Samuel W. Mitcham

Samuel W. Mitcham is an American writer of military history who specializes in the German war effort during World War II. He is the author of more than 40 books.

UNITED for Intercultural Action

UNITED for Intercultural Action is a European network against nationalism, racism, fascism and in support of migrants and refugees, in which over 560 organisations from 48 European countries cooperate. UNITED was founded in 1992 (officially registered as charitable organisation under Dutch law in 1993) and provides a forum for active solidarity and cooperation between a wide variety of organisations in Europe and their activists across European borders.

UNITED defines itself as pan-European tool to strengthen and cross-link grassroots organisations and their actions to improve their socio-political impact. The idea of the UNITED network was born by participants of two anti-racist European youth seminars in Strasbourg in 1992. At these occasions, the need for a European-wide info- and networking system was expressed against the background of the most violent and massive xenophobic riots that took place in Germany after the Second World War: the riot of Rostock-Lichtenhagen August 22–24, 1992.

The work of UNITED mainly focuses on the coordination of European-wide awareness-raising campaigns, organisation of international conferences and the maintenance of an info-system and network structure. UNITED coordinates following annual campaigns:

European Action Week Against Racism

International Refugee Day

International Day Against Fascism and AntisemitismUNITED has participatory status at the Council of Europe, is elected member of the Advisory Council on Youth of the Council of Europe and has since 1997 special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations.

Želimir Žilnik

Želimir Žilnik (Serbian Cyrillic: Желимир Жилник; pronounced [ʒɛ̌limiːr ʒîlniːk]; born 8 September 1942) is a Serbian film director best known as one of the major figures of the Yugoslav Black Wave film movement of the 1960s and 1970s. He is noted for his socially engaging style of filmmaking and criticism of censorship that was commonplace during the Yugoslav communist era. After the fall of communism and the breakup of Yugoslavia in the early 1990s, he became an outspoken critic of Slobodan Milošević's regime in Serbia.

Refugees and immigration
Migrant vehicle incidents
Maritime operations
Migrant camps
Border barriers
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