Pictures of WWII defenses exhibition

#2
Interesting, as a kid many canal bridges where I lived were still blocked with those big concrete tank blocks!
 
#4
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.
 
#5
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.

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.
 
#7
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.
 
#8
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! :)
 

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
#9
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.
 
#10
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.
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.
 
#11
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.
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...
 
#13
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.
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.
 
#14
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.
 

sirbhp

LE
Book Reviewer
#15
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
 
#16
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.
I lived in a house on Reigate hill which was used by Montgemery and his staff when in the HQ underneath the hill behind the Yew tree pub.If you go up the track behind the pub there are still slit trenches with wire and piquets in and around them plus the air shafts. The B17 crash site is still littered with ammunition and aircraft alloy-interesting place.
 
#17
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...
Yes Nutfield etc also has some. Not sure of the name of the barracks now but may have know. I've moved away but go back about once a month for whatever reason. Reigate pubs being one! The Fort I mentioned was built around 1900 I believe. When the Hun looked like he may get a bit sporty at some point.

The WWII AA defences feature an open space about size of football pitch I think with a deep bunker (for ammo and C&C etc) underneath and a semi-open one along one side for readied ammo and stand-by personnel I guess.

Here the Canadians manned their guns and their steel bunk beds are/were still in the covered pits/bunker along the side, (we used the bunks one night after a long hike when about 14 and they were quite comfortable.)

Later in our teens (around the 1990s) a few times after the pub we went into the main bunker complex which was dark, dank etc. Just for a look. We found it had been used by some folks for parties of some sort .... the walls were covered in really bizarre paintings of satanic activity, weird sexual paintings etc. Some childish style like in a childrens ward. Some more skillful. So a few times obviously you'd dare girls and boys to go as far in as possible on their own without a light for cheap thrills. Weird place back then and I was pleased when they did it up about ten years ago as it was a shame to lose the history side of it. I guess it cost the National Trust a few quid but a lot was done by volunteers.
 

Legs

ADC
Book Reviewer
#19
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.
I would imagine the thought was that if they were to be demolished, it would be along with the rest of the nation as instant sunshine rained down on us.
 
#20
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...
The track was all CANADA AVENUE which was built as a connection/relief road between the A22 and the A23 , there was a hospital on the south side of the airfield and a large tented camp on the north of the track just below Maple farm.The airfield is still ringed with pillboxes and anti tank ditches and most of the buildings are WW2 era, a few of the older villagers in South Nutfield remember the Canadians setting up roadblocks in the village.
 
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