Pictures of WWII defenses exhibition

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by Speedy, Feb 4, 2013.

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  1. Interesting, as a kid many canal bridges where I lived were still blocked with those big concrete tank blocks!
     
  2. blue-sophist

    blue-sophist LE Good Egg (charities)

  3. Twatty comment:

    Some of the surviving Nazi gun placements still on the French coast are fascinating. They seem to be far more advanced and substantial than our attempts, presumably as intimidation or deterrant for a counter-invasion. Like the Portland one above, they almost look like small villages, and I guess any soldiers placed there would be able to sit out a siege for a few days.

    So...some of our emplacements, like Portland, are like German ones, which aren't like our's. Great logic.

    I see the point though. Some German bunker systems were fearsome when you walk around them. Perhaps in greater number than seen in the UK. However of course the Nazis used slave-labour and 100% expected counter-attack. However Fortresses like Dover etc would have posed quite an obstacle.
     

  4. The British gun emplacements had guns and trained crews in them, a feature not shared by all the NAZI ones when Rommel made his inspection.
     
  5. full of surly Romanians etc pressed into service to reluctantly fight. Thank goodness nothing like that could happen in the UK these days eh?
     
  6. it was fascinating talking to German blokes at HQ ARRC end of last year. They have virtually expunged the second world war from their history lessons. They were amazed that we still have such defences, particularly when I showed them the pillboxes in the Vale of Pewsey still in nearly pristine condition.
     
  7. Walked a small section of Leeds Liverpool Canal last week,you can still see fortifications at certain points,bridges etc.Yes,I know,no pics and it didn't happen.

    Googled this,here is a further comment.

    osted by Charlie on 27th October 2008 at 07:05
    Re Parbold to Burscough, you asked what thw concrete structures were that you had seen three of?

    They are WW2 "Pill Boxes" or gun emplacements usually for machine guns.......I am amazed that someone doesn't know what they are! :)
     
  8. Cold_Collation

    Cold_Collation LE Book Reviewer

    I walked a chunk of the River Mole in Surrey during the snow last year and came upon a series of bunkers, including one for a 6-pdr anti-tank gun, as well as loads of dragon's teeth. Happened to mention it to a local friend who turned out to be quite expert on the defensive lines around Reigate during WWII. I hadn't known it was such an important location in terms of London's defence.

    It continues to amaze me just how much stuff is still out there. That said, this stuff was hardly designed to just blow away.

    I went to the former USAF base at RAF Upper Heyford a few years back to visit a research firm. The hardened aircraft shelters there are now used for data storage... no-one considered when constructing HASs that they might one day have to dismantle them.

    The centre of Vienna still has some flak towers - bloody great concrete things that, basically, no-one's taken the effort to remove. It's a bit odd to turn a corner in a taxi and see on in the middle of a busy street.
     
  9. Around the Mole there are many boxes it is true. An English/German friend of mine had no clue about them and was interested while also on a walk a few years back from Reigate to Dorking. Next time around there take a stroll along Fort Lane. Some interesting history up there, pretty spot too! I helped the National Trust rennovate the fort area a while back as a lowly volunteer. Reigate Hill was designed to be a fortress when the Germans came a-invadin and headed towards London. In WWII Canadian gun crews manned AA defences up there. There is some story of them running amock in Redhill one night.
     
  10. Cold_Collation

    Cold_Collation LE Book Reviewer

    I will do, thanks. Often do the route out of the back of East Surrey Hospital, which was all Canadian barracks, was it not (Maple Lane/Maple House, etc)? There are more positions on the way to the aerodrome.

    And on the bold bit: these days replaced by tracksuit-wearing morons and those quaint travelling folk...
     
  11. Google subterrania brittanica, loads of stuff on there - that's how I found out that I live near Manchester's gun control centre built in the 1950's and still standing, if a tad damp inside.


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  12. My dad went in a bunker on the Suffolk coast in about 1944 and found the "guns" they had found so reassuring were in fact telegraph poles painted black.
     
  13. btw someone mentioned some of the German/Austrian etc flak towers ...they are too massive to destroy. Especially if near essential services like underground trains, overland railway tracks etc due to the foundations and under-ground chambers. The French tried with one in Berlin and spent a huge amount of effort doing it.
    Same thing with Cold War structures. You can end up smashing up half the local utilities to dig em out. Cheaper to leave them.

    I saw one complex used in France for mushroom growing. Perfect.
     
  14. sirbhp

    sirbhp LE Book Reviewer

    in the part of Essex near sarfend there are loads of pillboxes still extant. Mind you a lot of them look very exposed and I am glad that I never had to man one of them them !


    However the novelty rock emporium was demolished in the 1970,s