The gray, concrete, heavily scarred slabs that arrived at the National World War II Museum this week are more than just chunks of an old wall to historians.

The slabs are part of Nazi Germany's Atlantic Wall, a string of defenses ordered by Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler in 1940. The defenses, also known as "Hitler's wall," stretched 3,200 miles from France to Norway and were designed to stop, or at least slow, the Allies from advancing inland during an invasion.

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