WWII Defensive Pillboxes

ugly

LE
Moderator
I went past this one today, I used to see it from the rugby pitch on match days but was usually too knackered to visit!
There are quite a few around here if anyone wants to visit drop me a line.
 
This is the one hidden out in the woods above the village of Rudston, I've not found much about it other than an old local told me it was an ammunition store for an artillery battery
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I originally posted this on the Arrsers' Self Taken Photo Collection thread, but was advised by @CivvyLurker that it might be of interest here.

The picture shows a pillbox on Ventnor Down, Isle of Wight. It was part of the defences for the nearby RAF radar station which was part of the WW2 Chain Home system. The station was bombed by the Germans - there's a sequence in the film "The Battle of Britain" which is supposed to depict it - but it's difficult to imagine the howl of Stukas in the beautiful and peaceful setting of the Downs today.

The pillbox is a curious shape - sort of triangular with a truncated bit at the door corner. There's a few remnants of what must have been a blast protection wall in front of the door.

Smells of wee? Yep, it does. But then again, not surprising as it does have the appearance of being built like a brick sh**house.


2019 Ventnor radar defence re-sized.jpg
 

tiv

War Hero
I originally posted this on the Arrsers' Self Taken Photo Collection thread, but was advised by @CivvyLurker that it might be of interest here.

The picture shows a pillbox on Ventnor Down, Isle of Wight. It was part of the defences for the nearby RAF radar station which was part of the WW2 Chain Home system. The station was bombed by the Germans - there's a sequence in the film "The Battle of Britain" which is supposed to depict it - but it's difficult to imagine the howl of Stukas in the beautiful and peaceful setting of the Downs today.

The pillbox is a curious shape - sort of triangular with a truncated bit at the door corner. There's a few remnants of what must have been a blast protection wall in front of the door.

Smells of wee? Yep, it does. But then again, not surprising as it does have the appearance of being built like a brick sh**house.


View attachment 386057
Some information and photos here Ventnor Chain Home Radar Station – Subterranea Britannica
 

overopensights

ADC
Book Reviewer
The ones about where I live stand out like a racing dogs goolies, with no attempt to blend in with terrain, ones that are built to defend a local canal are built right on the banks of it. WW1 Thinking before real panzers were experienced.
 
The ones about where I live stand out like a racing dogs goolies, with no attempt to blend in with terrain, ones that are built to defend a local canal are built right on the banks of it. WW1 Thinking before real panzers were experienced.
You need to consider the following.

the surroundings change. There may have been trees etc around.

speed was of the essence building these things so something quick is better than something slow to construct.

I can’t help but feel that some are built as deterrents, not useful defences. Aerial reconnaissance sees a pill box. It can’t tell you if there’s rifles, a bren or a vickers in there. You’re not really going to want to parachute troops into a LZ covered by vickers.

many pill boxes were merely hardened OPs. View of the terrain was more important.
 
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The ones about where I live stand out like a racing dogs goolies, with no attempt to blend in with terrain, ones that are built to defend a local canal are built right on the banks of it. WW1 Thinking before real panzers were experienced.
It’s unlikely they were built to actually defend the canal as it would probably have been of little military importance, at least in terms of transport.

More likely they were part of a defensive line using the canal as a moat/anti-tank ditch.

There are still some remaining pillboxes on the north side of the Basingstoke Canal. The canal was part of something called GHQ Line A which was a secondary line of defence in the event of an invasion.

I might have posted some pictures of them up the thread. They were mostly type 22 and 24 pillboxes and some of them had the added protection of being set into the canal embankment so only a little bit faced forwards.

Some info here: The Rescue of a Unique GHQ Line A Pillbox, Basingstoke Canal, Hampshire. | The Pillbox Study Group Website.

(Apologies if I am preaching to the choir.)
 

tiv

War Hero
You need to consider the following.

the surroundings change. There may have been trees etc around.

speed was of the essence building these things so something quick is better than something slow to construct.

I can’t help but feel that some are built as deterrents, not useful defences. Aerial reconnaissance sees a pill box. It can’t tell you if there’s rifles, a bren or a buckets in there. You’re not really going to want to parachute troops into a LZ covered by vickers.

many pill boxes were merely hardened OPs. View of the terrain was more important.
You're right there, those along the stop lines sat behind an anti tank ditch.
 
If you are ever near Withyham in Sussex, take a walk along the old railway now called the Forest Way. There are some unusual ones along there. Also along the road in the front garden of one of the houses is a 2 storey pillbox.
 
That's where I used to go a lot as a kid, we lived a few miles down the road and didn't get abroad holidays so Fraisthorpe beach in the summer holidays was a regular thing.
Was that before or after it was designated a "naturist" beach, I remember on the way back from Filey once Dad pulling the car up at Fraisthorpe to "go look at the pillboxes" Mum stayed in the car ! Funny in hindsight.
 
Was that before or after it was designated a "naturist" beach, I remember on the way back from Filey once Dad pulling the car up at Fraisthorpe to "go look at the pillboxes" Mum stayed in the car ! Funny in hindsight.
I remember going there as a kid and being told "don't go past the flags" because of the nudists but we used to try and see what was going on out of curiosity. I also remember going there once in the early 2000's when people were still going nude after it had been banned, and the police helicopter came hovering over it blaring out a warning to them.
 
Here is the location of 2 of the more different ones.

Pillbox.jpg
 
I remember going there as a kid and being told "don't go past the flags" because of the nudists but we used to try and see what was going on out of curiosity. I also remember going there once in the early 2000's when people were still going nude after it had been banned, and the police helicopter came hovering over it blaring out a warning to them.
flags? are nudists dangerous when startled or something?
 

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