The Maginot Line (French: Ligne Maginot, IPA: [liɲ maʒino] ), named after the French Minister of War André Maginot, is a line of concrete fortifications, as well as obstacles and weapon installations built by France in the 1930s to deter invasion by Germany and force them to move around the fortifications. The Maginot Line was impervious to most forms of attack. In consequence, the Germans invaded through the Low Countries in 1940, passing it to the north. The line has since become a metaphor for expensive efforts that offer a false sense of security.
Constructed on the French side of its borders with Italy, Switzerland, Germany and Luxembourg, the line did not extend to the English Channel due to French strategy that envisioned a move into Belgium to counter a German assault. Based on France's experience with trench warfare during World War I, the massive Maginot Line was built in the run-up to World War II, after the Locarno Conference gave rise to a fanciful and optimistic "Locarno spirit". French military experts extolled the Line as a work of genius that would deter German aggression, because it would slow an invasion force long enough for French forces to mobilise and counterattack.
The Maginot Line was invulnerable to aerial bombings and tank fire and had underground railways as a backup; it also had state-of-the-art living conditions for garrisoned troops, supplying air conditioning and eating areas for their comfort. French and British officers had anticipated the geographical limits of the Maginot Line; when Germany invaded the Netherlands and Belgium, they carried out plans to form an aggressive front that cut across Belgium and connected to the Maginot Line.