defence of england ww2

Type FW3/24 built by Mowlems using circular external Shuttering. It is wider than the type 28 to allow for a side area for an infantry chamber, giving a forward-facing embrasure suitable for a rifle or light machine gun. This design is only found in the Dover area of England and is very often found at high commanding positions. Berkshire Record Office 9 Coley Avenue Reading RG1 6AF. Ford and Lieutenant Williamson. The need for an Air Defence system to protect the United Kingdom was re-emphasised very early in the war when Great Britain began to be attacked by airships and aircraft. [74][75][76] The Ruck machine gun post was relatively widely used in Lincolnshire and along the east coast of England,[77] but is now extremely rare with just a handful of extant examples. For the defense of Britain, Fighter Command was divided into four groups, of which the most hard-pressed during the Battle of Britain were Number 11 Group, defending southeastern England and London and headquartered at Uxbridge, Middlesex; and Number 12 Group, defending the Midlands and Wales and headquartered at Watnall, Nottinghamshire. The turret was set above a pit; in early designs, the pit was formed by a standard section of concrete pipe 4 feet (1.2 m) in diameter. These would not be expected to face heavy weapons so that the degree of protection was less and there was more emphasis on all-round visibility and sweeping fields of fire. . Pillbox Type FW3/26. Today, hardly anything remains of the anti-tank ditches, but at the time they must have been the most conspicuous of all the fortifications. View of WW2 coastal defence machine gun pillboxes on the Northumberland Coast, situated on the trail from the north west side of the road over the causeway to Holy Island or Lindisfarne, England. ©anti-aircraft.co.uk 2010-2017 Shetland Islands. Some have a low entrance that allows an extra embrasure above. A three mile stretch of the British coastline in the New Forest region, from the town of Barton on Sea to Milford on Sea has been exposed. Shelves of wood or concrete are fitted below the embrasures in the principal direction. Pillbox Type FW3/25, horizontal section at the level of the embrasures. In the case of the larger factories, the standard FW3 types were used, but at smaller sites a special type was used. In 1940 a network of defences was hastily built all over the British Isles to prevent an anticipated German invasion. The complete name for the rule was Regulation 18B of the Defence Regulations 1939. The Ribbon. [84], According to the manufacturer, four men could dig the position out and erect the turret ready for firing in two hours and remove it completely in 30 minutes. [60][61], Section posts are essentially hardened trench works. The Defence of Britain Project databases were created from field and documentary work forming a study of 'defence areas' in England. The Defence of Britain Project databases were created from field and documentary work carried out between April 1995 and December 2001. since his appointment by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, in July 2019. These types are found mainly along the River Stour stop line, where 113 remain extant. No need to register, buy now! Central well of hexagonal CRE 1113 variant. Sealion, the German invasion plan, was actually centred on South East England, but the very real threat of invasion provoked a programme of frantic construction throughout Britain. Defence against invasion is likewise a field where the interests of the historian of home defence may impinge on those of the naval historian. The pedestal was for a type of spigot mortar called the Blacker Bombard — effective against both tanks and personnel at ranges of about 100 and 500 yards (90 and 460 m) respectively.[94]. However, the side walls are very short (~1m) and parallel to each other with no embrasures. During the 1990s, as part of the Heritage Lottery Funded Defence of Britain Project volunteers identified and recorded many anti-invasion defences. They are most commonly found in Essex and Suffolk along the main Eastern Command line and 64 examples remain extant. Superficially, the type 28 resembles the smaller Vickers MMG emplacement, but the aperture is much larger and there is a very large rear entrance designed for ease of wheeling the gun in and out. The Pattern 57 Civil Defence battledress blouse jacket below sold on eBay for £137 (plus £10 shipping). Video: unique footage of secret WW2 ‘Scallywag Bunkers’ that were Britain’s lethal last line of defence There are no internal walls. The embrasures are suitable for rifles or light machine guns. Type, Mushroom Type or Oakington Type. [16], The Vickers machine gun pillbox is essentially square in plan with the forward-facing corners chamfered. Internally, an anti-ricochet wall runs longitudinally. Vickers Machine Gun Post. Key to symbols: HAA site HAA-click for a satellite image in Google Maps Gairloch. Examples of a Section Post and Seagull Trench. Huge collection, amazing choice, 100+ million high quality, affordable RF and RM images. This drawing shows the primary triangulation of southern England, the lengths of the sides of each triangle being noted. Weapons were mounted on a tubular rail for 360° traverse. Some pillboxes were carefully constructed to resemble a quite different, innocent, structure: a haystack, a disused cottage, seaside kiosk, bus-stop shelter or railway signal box. The type 28 and its variants are fairly common: there are 78 type 28s, 209 type 28As and 19 type 28 twins recorded as extant. The most common of these defences were called “pillboxes”, squat concrete forts that were sited at … Note rectangular plan featuring a roofed fighting compartment and an open anti-aircraft compartment (grey). For many of those that remain, neglect and the attentions of nature have achieved a degree of camouflage greater than that during the Second World War. Uk Invasion Defences of World War 2. From March 1941, some pillbox embrasures were fitted with a Turnbull mount: this was a metal frame that supported a medium machine gun.[3][4]. [91][92], Only five examples were thought to remain, all at former RAF Hornchurch,[91] but two well-preserved examples were rediscovered in 2014 in Docking in North Norfolk. [54] 17 extant examples of this type have been identified from the Defence of Britain Survey. Dunkirk evacuation (May 26–June 4, 1940), in World War II, the evacuation of about 198,000 soldiers of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) and 140,000 French and Belgian troops from the French seaport of Dunkirk to England. Defence Medal 1939-1945. [87], The turret had a garrison of two men or, if necessary three men, for whom there were folding seats inside. The Defence of Britain Project has identified 20,000 military sites across Britain linked to World War Two. The purpose of the Project was to record the 20th century militarised landscape of the United Kingdom, and to inform the responsible heritage agencies at both local and national level with a view to the future preservation of surviving structures. You can even learn about the development of the supersonic jet fighter. [59] 24 examples of this type remain extant. 1. Plan of a Type 22 thick walled version commonly found in Oxfordshire. [108], Years after the war, memories faded and in the public mind it became popular to assume that the few pillboxes and other concrete objects that could easily be seen were all that was done to defend Britain; that their purpose was just to bolster morale and that there would have been no realistic hope of resisting a German assault. Suffolk Square Pillbox plan at the level of the embrasures. For decades, with the sole exception of Pevensey Castle—where the new fortifications were seen as a part of the building's history—there was never even a suggestion that anything should be deliberately conserved. The Ministry of Defence (MoD) is the United Kingdom government department responsible for implementation of government defence policy and is the headquarters of the British Armed Forces.. The War Office correctly guessed that the Germans would attempt a landing in the south and south-east of England. The traverse of the gun was limited to about 60°. Example of a Mowlem Drum on the River Wey near Chilworth. [65], The Royal Ordnance Factories (ROFs) and depots were critical to the war effort and considered vulnerable to enemy ground attack so were often protected by pillboxes. The archive can be found at, This page was last edited on 25 November 2020, at 21:05. Another variant Type 22 is referred to as drawing CRE 1094: this is effectively a thin-walled version of CRE 1113, with 1 ft 6in thick walls. Where brick was used as a shuttering, the bricks essentially formed a mould into which concrete was poured, the bricks being left in place. World War II defences of the former airfield of RAF Cranage is a Scheduled Monument in Cranage, Cheshire East, England. 21 examples of the Seagull trench and 26 examples of Section posts remain extant.[62][63]. These are the same size and shape as a Type 28 but have the main embrasure replaced with a Bren gun embrasure, Bren gun embrasures in the side walls and a rifle embrasure in the rear wall. They are most commonly shuttered with concrete blocks and have two embrasures in the front face with one each in the other faces. British hardened field defences of World War II were small fortified structures constructed as a part of British anti-invasion preparations. Find the perfect ww2 defence stock photo. [16], The type 25 pillbox is the only FW3 design that is circular, with a diameter of 8 feet (2.4 m). The Defence Medal is awarded for non-operational service such as those service personnel working in headquarters, on training bases and airfields and members of the Home Guard. It was not successful, and this defeat marked a turning point in the Allies’ favour. Each wall is about 6 feet (1.8 m) long and it was generally built to the bulletproof standard of 12 inches (30 cm) thick, although shellproof versions with walls around 40 inches (1.0 m) thick were also built such as the granite and concrete examples on the Cowie Line in Kincardineshire and along the upper Thames in Oxfordshire. The Ministry of Defence (MOD) takes the security of our systems seriously. [47][48], Pentagonal pillboxes are only found at or near airfields so are almost certainly an Air Ministry design, although no drawings have been found to support this idea. In some cases, the reinforced concrete roof was sculpted to make the distinctive form of a pillbox less obvious from the air. Embrasures were frequently fitted with a steel or concrete-asbestos shutter. In addition to receiving compensation, farmers whose land was used to build the structures were paid after the war to fill in ditches and trenches and to demolish pillboxes. [78] Sunday, 15 September 1940 saw the Luftwaffe launch a concentrated attack against London: the goal was to bring the RAF to its knees once and for all. The other walls would each have an embrasure suitable for a rifle or light machine gun.[40][41][42]. The record set of GSGS mapping (dating back to 1881) has been transferred from the Ministry of Defence Map Library to the British Library Map Library. The eared pillbox is, like the lozenge pillbox, found only in the North East of England and has an irregular hexagon plan. [111] Interest was stimulated, both public and professional, and local surveys were carried out. According to the manufacturer, it was suitable for Vickers, Bren, Hotchkiss or Lewis machine guns in either a ground defence or anti-aircraft role, or a Boys anti-tank rifle or rifle grenade for ground defence. This design was made from reinforced concrete shuttered by corrugated iron; this gave the design the popular name Armco after the manufacturer of corrugated iron of that name. [64] Documents in the National Archives refer to this type as drawing CRE 1113; a variant form of this type without the central AA well also exists. These are mainly concentrated in the Sulham valley, where attack could have come from both the south and west. [67], The Norcon was a small circular pillbox named after the company that manufactured it as a private commercial venture. A further variant exists in Lincolnshire consisting of a double-chambered type 23 with an access door with anti-aircraft gun mount and a chamber on either side, known as the Lincolnshire three bay. The walls are about 20 by 19 feet (6.1 by 5.8 m) long, constructed to shell-proof specification at about 42 inches (107 cm) thick. [70][71], The Ruck machine gun post (or Ruck pillbox) was designed by James Ruck and was made from prefabricated sections, paving slabs, sandbags and rammed earth. Find the perfect ww2 coastal defence stock photo. Hover mouse over icon to identify HAA site. The versions with an AA well have four embrasures and those without have five centrally placed in each face. Pillbox FW3/28A built to shell proof standard. It was recognised by politicians and military staff before the First World War that there was a possibility that aircraft would attack England. The door in these variants is offset to accommodate the fifth embrasure.[49]. The two embrasures are at approximately 80° to each other, giving an arc of fire of about 180° with no way to direct fire behind the pillbox. The armed forces are managed by the Defence Council of the Ministry of Defence, headed by the Secretary of State for Defence. Construction often took advantage of whatever materials were available locally (for example, at the coast, beach sand and pebbles would be used) and this expedient use of local materials had the added advantage of aiding camouflage. Defence Regulation 18B, often referred to as simply 18B, was one of the Defence Regulations used by the British Government during the Second World War. This thick-walled variant is sometimes called a Type 29 by pillbox researchers but this is not an official designation. Gas masks were issued in 1938, and over 44 million had been distributed by the outbreak of war in September 1939. World War II - World War II - The Battle of Britain: With France conquered, Hitler could now turn his forces on Germany’s sole remaining enemy: Great Britain, which was protected from the formidable German Army by the waters of the English Channel. This resolved the problem of the type 28 being vulnerable to a head-on infantry attack. The most common of these defences were called “pillboxes”, squat concrete forts that were sited at … WW3 is now a 'real risk' as regional conflicts around the world could soon be miscalculated and escalate, the Chief of the UK Defence Staff, Sir Nick Carter, has warned. The pillbox is actually an enlarged Type 22 with a central AA well and 3 ft 6in walls. There are two entrances with openings in the same direction as the embrasures. The Defence Medal was also awarded for non-operational service overseas, for example in India or South Africa. They are frequently sited in pairs and were often dug in with overhead earth cover. On 2 July 1940 the German Air Force Supreme Command issued instructions for the campaign against Britain; the Battle of Britain. Photos of locations showing english and british pill boxes, pillbox, bunkers and anti-tank defences built to resist a German invasion of England in World War 2. Horizontal section at the level of the embrasures. [12], The type 22 pillbox is a regular hexagon in plan with an embrasure in five of the sides and an entrance in the other. Pillbox Type FW3/27 built to shell proof standard. The Second World War We have carried out historical research into Second World War sites such as anti-aircraft gunnery, radar, coast artillery, the bombing decoys and civil defence structures at the National Archives, Kew. The long narrow observation type embrasure suggests these pillboxes were mainly intended as guard posts or fire watching posts, but would have served as a defensive position in the event of an attack. It comprised a revolving concrete turret mounted on a ball race that allowed it to be turned easily. Only 27 examples of this type remain. The Boulton Paul Defiant is often portrayed as one of the worst aircraft of World War 2. There is a large embrasure and inside is a concrete, trapezoidal table on which to mount the weapon's tripod. The purpose of the Project was to record the 20th century militarised landscape of the United Kingdom, and to inform the responsible heritage agencies at both local and national level with a view to the future preservation of surviving structures. [93], A spigot mortar emplacement was unroofed, sometimes constructed of brick or concrete, but sometimes a simple revetted earthwork. There were a wide variety of field gun emplacements; most resembled larger version of the Type 28 pillbox. The Defence Medal was awarded for service in the forces in non-operational areas subjected to air attack or closey threatened for at least three years service in Great Britain until 8th May 1945 or one year in territories overseas until 2 September 1945. On the threatened east coast new defences were added, for example the 9-inch battery at Spurn Point, East Yorkshire - a site now being lost to coastal erosion. 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