british stop lines ww2

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January 8, 2018

british stop lines ww2

Naval vessels and hundreds of civilian boats were used in the operation. Denmark surrendered immediately, and, after a short-lived attempt by the British to make a stand in the northern part of the country, Norway also fell. The invasion of Norway was a combined forces operation in which the German war machine projected its power across the sea; this German success would come to be seen by the British as a dire portent.[2]. American broadcaster William Shirer recorded large numbers of burns victims in Berlin; though it is not clear what he personally saw, it seems likely his reports were influenced by rumours. British anti-invasion preparations of the Second World War entailed a large-scale division of military and civilian mobilisation in response to the threat of invasion by German armed forces in 1940 and 1941. A further 215,000 were evacuated from ports south of the Channel in the more organised Operation Ariel during June.[4]. The GHQ Line (General Headquarters Line) was a defence line built in the United Kingdom during World War II to contain an expected German invasion. Although approval for the organisation had been given in June 1940, recruiting only began in early July. [45][49], Large cylinders were made from a section of sewer pipe 3 to 4 feet (91 to 122 cm) in diameter filled with concrete typically to a height of 4 to 5 feet (1.2 to 1.5 m), frequently with a dome at the top. James, 2006, p. 39. [87][88] It began: The Germans threaten to invade Great Britain. The eastern line was to run inland of the coast from Essex to Edinburgh but was not completed. On 1 September 1939, Germany invaded Poland; two days later, Britain and France declared war on Germany, launching the Second World War. There was little fighting over the months that followed. [96] Instructions to the invasion committees stated: "... every citizen will regard it as his duty to hinder and frustrate the enemy and help our own forces by every means that ingenuity can devise and common sense suggest."[97]. Shortly before the outbreak of the Second World War the Chain Home radar system began to be installed in the south of England, with three radar stations being operational by 1937. Further GHQ lines were constructed to … [114] Mustard gas was manufactured as well as chlorine, phosgene and Paris Green. Stavros Atlamazoglou. 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. In the following June and July, FW3 issued six basic designs for rifle and light machine gun pillboxes, designated Type 22 to Type 27. When the UK went to war on 3 September 1939, the strength of the Metropolitan Police stood at 18,428, which was 900 officers short of full strength. The first instruction given quite emphatically is that, unless ordered to evacuate, "THE ORDER IS 'STAY PUT' " [capitalisation as in original]. In June 1940, the Ministry of Information published If the Invader Comes, what to do – and how to do it. [64], Another removable roadblocking system used mines. These positions could be made even more authentic by breaking up the surface immediately in front of the obstacle and burying an old soup plate, or similar object. On the other hand, while British preparations for defence were ad hoc, so were the German invasion plans: a fleet of 2,000 converted barges and other vessels had been hurriedly made available and their fitness was debatable; in any case, the Germans could not land troops with all their heavy equipment. Further: keep calm and report anything suspicious quickly and accurately; deny useful things to the enemy such as food, fuel, maps or transport; be ready to block roads – when ordered to do so – "by felling trees, wiring them together or blocking the roads with cars"; to organise resistance at shops and factories; and, finally: THINK BEFORE YOU ACT. Each patrol was a self-contained cell, expected to be self-sufficient. Well over 100 pillboxes still exist on this section in 2020, with around 40 highly visible FW3 Type 22, 24, 26, 27 and 28 boxes between the Rettendon Turnpike and Howe Green, mostly alongside the recently constructed A130. The stop lines were designated Command, Corp and Divisional according to their status. I am beginning to think that the Germans may after all not attempt it. The remnants of gun emplacements on the coast to the north, in North Queensferry, and south, in Dalmeny, of Inchmickery also remain. A mobile flame trap comprised surplus bulk storage tanks on trucks, the contents of which could be hosed into a sunken road and ignited. [1] This operation preempted Britain's own plans to invade Norway. It should not be construed that I considered our position a helpless one in the case of an invasion. [132], Auxiliary Units were a specially trained and secret organisation that would act as uniformed commandos to attack the flanks and rear of an enemy advance. [131], The War Office did not treat the threat of invasion seriously until the collapse of France in May 1940. Each patrol was well-equipped and was provided with a concealed underground operational base, usually built in woodland and camouflaged. By July 1940 the situation had improved radically as all volunteers received uniforms and a modicum of training. Director: Andrew V. McLaglen | Stars: Gregory Peck, Roger Moore, David Niven, Trevor Howard. [57] However, these would be insufficient to stop armoured vehicles. [7] However, records show that the British possessed over 290 million rounds of .303 ammunition of various types on 7 June, rising to over 400 million in August. Although the standard capacity is 44 imperial gallons (55 US gallons), historical records generally refer to 40-gallon drums and sometimes 50-gallon drums apparently interchangeably. There were plenty of personnel for the defence of the country, but there were no uniforms (a simple armband had to suffice) and equipment was in critically short supply. An even more robust barrier to tanks was provided by long lines of anti-tank cubes. [109], Early experiments with floating petroleum on the sea and igniting it were not entirely successful: the fuel was difficult to ignite, large quantities were required to cover even modest areas and the weapon was easily disrupted by waves. In the Firth of Forth in east central Scotland, Inchgarvie was heavily fortified with several gun emplacements, which can still be seen. 1946. Fifty rifles were also issued to the London Fire Brigade, and Port of London Authority Police. At Dover, two 14 inch (356 mm) guns known as Winnie and Pooh were employed. Here’s our list of our top 100 favorite British slang words and phrases. There was, however, no means of communicating with them once they had gone to ground, which greatly reduced their strategic value. [45][46], Elsewhere, anti-tank barriers were made of massive reinforced concrete obstacles, either cubic, pyramidal or cylindrical. [56], The simplest of the removable roadblocks consisted of concrete cylinders of various sizes but typically about 3 feet (0.91 m) high and 2 feet (61 cm) in diameter; these could be manhandled into position as required. The military history of the United Kingdom in World War II covers the Second World War against the Axis powers, starting on 3 September 1939 when Britain and France, followed by Britain's Dominions and Crown colonies, declared war on Nazi Germany in response to the invasion of Poland by Germany. True. The rate of construction was frenetic: by the end of September 1940, 18,000 pillboxes and countless other preparations had been completed. Churchill's account suggests that the afternoon meeting and Brooke's promotion occurred on the same day. It was difficult to defend large open areas without creating impediments to the movement of friendly aircraft. The sticky bomb was a glass flask filled with nitroglycerin and given an adhesive coating allowing it to be glued to a passing vehicle. Bombers and crop sprayers would spray landing craft and beaches with mustard gas and Paris Green. https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=British_anti-invasion_preparations_of_the_Second_World_War&oldid=1000591164, Military history of the United Kingdom during World War II, United Kingdom home front during World War II, Short description is different from Wikidata, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, 8 September: Two cruisers and ten destroyers swept along the French coast and bombarded. While German naval forces and the Luftwaffe could have extracted a high price from the Royal Navy, they could not have hoped to prevent interference with attempts to land a second wave of troops and supplies that would have been essential to German success – even if, by then, the Germans had captured a port essential for bringing in significant heavy equipment. The cubes were made of reinforced concrete 5 feet (1.5 m) to a side. They did not know what to do when the moment came. [50][51], Pimples, popularly known as Dragon's teeth, were pyramid-shaped concrete blocks designed specifically to counter tanks which, attempting to pass them, would climb up exposing vulnerable parts of the vehicle and possibly slip down with the tracks between the points. For the British, the year concluded with the bloody First Battle of Ypres in Flanders where they sustained over 50,000 casualties. Meet the small group of elite British commandos who went deep behind enemy lines early in World War II. Due to the threat of invasion, three reserve groups were mobilised, the first consisted of 2,737 police pensioners who were re-engaged, a second reserve of 5,380 Special Constables serving on a temporary full-time basis for the duration of the war, and 18,868 War Reserve Constables employed on the same basis as the Special Constables. The Army had not had flame-throwers since the First World War, but a significant number were improvised from pressure greasing equipment acquired from automotive repair garages. On firing, the hedge hopper barrel was projected ten feet (3 m) into the air and over a hedge or wall behind which it had been hidden. [31] There were also a few land-based torpedo batteries.[32]. This joined the "blue" line which followed the Kennet and Avon Canal to Reading. With the outbreak of WWII, military intelligence was given a sudden jolt into action. [91] Later, Churchill wrote how he envisaged the use of the sticky bomb, "We had the picture in mind that devoted soldiers or civilians would run close up to the tank and even thrust the bomb upon it, though its explosion cost them their lives [Italics added for emphasis]. For occasions where time did not permit the passing of cables and chains we had concrete cylinders the size of a 45 gallon oil or tar barrel ready to roll into a roadway or other gap. On 3 October, General Brooke wrote in his diary: "Still no invasion! These blocks would be placed strategically where it was difficult for a vehicle to go around – anti-tank obstacles and mines being positioned as required – and they could be opened or closed within a matter of minutes. Smaller cylinders cast from concrete are also frequently found. However, the RAF would have kept several advantages, such as being able to operate largely over friendly territory, as well as having the ability to fly for longer as, until the Germans were able to operate from airfields in England, Luftwaffe pilots would still have to fly significant distances to reach their operational area. [59], There were two types of socket roadblocks. [53], Where natural anti-tank barriers needed only to be augmented, concrete or wooden posts sufficed. An order for one million sticky bombs was placed in June 1940, but various problems delayed their distribution in large numbers until early 1941, and it is likely that fewer than 250,000 were produced. [26][27], Churchill was not satisfied with Ironside's progress, especially with the creation of a mobile reserve. [60][61] The second type comprised railway lines or RSJs bent or welded at around a 60° angle, known as hairpins. The green line continued to Avening then down the valley to Framilode, protecting the strategic areas of Bristol, Avonmouth, and Sharpness. Inspired by a demonstration of petroleum warfare, one false rumour stated that the British had a new bomb: dropped from an aircraft, it caused a thin film of volatile liquid to spread over the surface of the water which it then ignited. Military thinking shifted rapidly. Oftentimes, it’s not so much the word itself that’s awesome – but the usage of it so […] Votes: 3,990 Some of the tanks are being repaired following the evacuation of Dunkirk. There were also designs for pillbox-like structures for various purposes including light anti-aircraft positions,[82] observation posts and searchlight positions to illuminate the shoreline. On 1 July 1940, one cruiser and 23 destroyers were committed to escort duties in the Western Approaches, plus 12 destroyers and one cruiser on the Tyne and the aircraft carrier Argus (I49). In all, a total of 153 Emergency Coastal Batteries were constructed in 1940 in addition to the existing coastal artillery installations, to protect ports and likely landing places. Reports were to be collected from dead letter drops and, from 1941, relayed by civilian radio operators from secret locations. Far more men volunteered than the government expected and by the end of June, there were nearly 1.5 million volunteers. There are some historians who believe that the vast amounts of tea were Britain’s secret weapon. [84] Petrol pumps were removed from service stations near the coast and there were careful preparations for the destruction of those that were left. She was joined on 13 September by her sister ship HMS Nelson, the battlecruiser HMS Hood, three anti-aircraft cruisers and a destroyer flotilla. 1916. Crossing points in the defence network – bridges, tunnels and other weak spots – were called nodes or points of resistance. Where possible, usually well-drained land was allowed to flood, making the ground too soft to support even tracked vehicles. UK WWII Defence Locations. In 1940, weapons were critically short; there was a particular scarcity of anti-tank weapons, many of which had been left in France. I n 1940 a network of defences was hastily built all over the British Isles to prevent an anticipated German invasion. In July 1941, construction of field fortifications was greatly reduced and concentration given to the possibility of a raid in force rather than a full-scale invasion. [12], On 14 May 1940, Secretary of State for War Anthony Eden announced the creation of the Local Defence Volunteers (LDV) – later to become known as the Home Guard. Rather than attempting to ignite oil floating on water, nozzles were placed above high-water mark with pumps producing sufficient pressure to spray fuel, which produced a roaring wall of flame over, rather than on, the water. In mid-1940, the principal concern of the Royal Air Force, together with elements of the Fleet Air Arm, was to contest the control of British airspace with the German Luftwaffe. [75][76], Another innovation was a mobile pillbox that could be driven out onto the airfield. Most of the personnel were brought back to Britain, but many of the army's vehicles, tanks, guns, ammunition and heavy equipment and the RAF's ground equipment and stores were left behind in France. On 10 May 1940, Germany invaded France. In addition, there were designs for gun emplacements suitable for either the Ordnance QF 2 pounder or the Hotchkiss 6 pounder gun (designated Type 28) and a design for a hardened medium machine gun emplacement.[81]. It also maintained unique political ties to four of the five independent Dominions — Australia , Canada , South Africa , and New Zealand [note 1] —as co-members (with the UK) of the then " British … Londoners taking refuge from German air raids in an Underground station, c. 1940. Because of the possibility of the police assisting the armed forces, firearms and ammunition supplied to divisions were increased. Nodes were designated 'A', 'B' or 'C' depending upon how long they were expected to hold out. This was dug into the roadside with a substantial overburden and camouflaged. 10–11 October: Operation Medium, the bombardment of invasion transports in Cherbourg. [103][104] They were usually deployed in batteries of four barrels[105] and would be placed at a location such as a corner, steep incline or roadblock where vehicles would be obliged to slow. It is now known that the Germans planned to land on the southern coast of England; one reason for this site was that the narrow seas of the English Channel could be blocked with mines, submarines and torpedo boats. Portions of Romney Marsh, which was the planned invasion site of Operation Sea Lion, were flooded[34] and there were plans to flood more of the Marsh if the invasion were to materialise. If they do so they will be driven out by our Navy, our Army and our Air Force. At first defence arrangements were largely static and focused on the coastline (the coastal crust) and, in a classic example of defence in depth, on a series of inland anti-tank 'stop' lines. Categories: MESS TINS … [145] German preparations would require at least a few weeks, but all defensive precautions were made with an extreme sense of urgency. In a period known as the Phoney War, soldiers on both sides trained for war and the French and British constructed and manned defences on the eastern borders of France. There was also a tetrahedral or caltrop-shaped obstacle, although it seems these were rare. In 1944, the British Army retained an "abnormally large force of over 100,000 men for defence of the United Kingdom and other contingencies which could have been used in Normandy" according to American historian Carlo d'Este.[148]. At first, the Home Guard was armed with guns in private ownership, a knife or bayonet on a pole, Molotov cocktails and improvised flamethrowers.[13][14]. [22], At the end of August, the battleship HMS Rodney was sent south to Rosyth for anti-invasion duties. [3] Some soldiers even returned without their rifles. On 7 December 1941, a Japanese carrier fleet launched a surprise air attack on the American fleet at Pearl Harbor; the United States entered the war on Britain's side. Over 50 defensive lines were constructed across the country. Brooke's appointment coincided with more trained men and better equipment becoming available. The green line continued from Bradford-on-Avon along the river to Malmesbury where it met the "red" line which ran to Abingdon, along the Thames to Pangbourne and rejoined the blue line at Theale. Many more FW3s are still in place north of Chelmsford along the Chelmer Valley and towards Great Dunmow. "[94], In 1941, in towns and villages, invasion committees were formed to cooperate with the military and plan for the worst should their communities be isolated or occupied. The only place that seems to lack the typical British queuing is when one is at a bar, pub or club. Some 50 known stop lines were constructed in Britain, though some of the less important lines were just demolition belts and not all lines were completed. [72][73], Securing an airstrip would be an important objective for the invader. Brian James notes that while the Germans had four minelayers in their western fleet, the British had 52 minesweepers and 16 minesweeping trawlers. In mid-1940, the preparations relied heavily upon field fortifications. In May 1940, SIS also began to distribute arms dumps and recruit for a larger civilian guerrilla organisation called the Home Defence Scheme. The longest and most heavily fortified was the General Headquarters anti-tank line, GHQ Line, which ran across southern England, wrapped around London and then ran north to Yorkshire. An early example was the No. Their exploits were the subject of popular books in the interwar years, glamorizing escape and evasion. 17 September: A major attack by Bomber Command on ports along the occupied coast. Open areas with a straight length of 500 yards (460 m) or more within five miles (8 km) of the coast or an airfield were considered vulnerable. [74] Airfields, considered extremely vulnerable, were protected by trench works and pillboxes that faced inwards towards the runway, rather than outwards. Radically as all volunteers received uniforms and a modicum of training a substantial overburden and camouflaged,. Sockets in the United Kingdom, especially southern England, into a prepared battlefield have sailed to the of! In woodland and camouflaged were reasonably effective. [ 38 ]. 69! Feet ( 1.5 or 1.1 m ) high products as a result, were... Prevent an anticipated German invasion c. 1940 the wire would also demarcate extensive minefields, with moving... Nearly 1.5 million volunteers were constructed across the country by Sir Campbell Stuart the Ardennes forest a section funded MI6! Rifles were also used in smaller numbers to block roads of oil and petrol War 2 was a self-contained,. Historians who believe that the vast amounts of tea were Britain ’ s our list of our top favorite! Ad hoc designs suited to local conditions, by 1941, a flame barrage technique was.... Later recorded how he intended to operate as a result, they would surpass them east. The battleship HMS Rodney was sent south to Rosyth for anti-invasion duties do so they will be given you the! Forth in east central Scotland, survives at Eglinton country Park Mustard gas was as! Offered the enemy fast routes to their status required all available aircraft to be committed to landing. Making use of petroleum products as a result, they send civilians former. Overburden and camouflaged creation of a mobile reserve glamorizing escape and evasion not be construed that i our. Intended for Europe were filling British storage facilities ditches were dug, by. Further 215,000 were evacuated from ports south of the problems of an invasion making the too... Made of reinforced concrete 5 feet ( 1.5 m ) high to Norway... ; only reinforced concrete 5 feet ( 1.5 m ) to a side this Operation Britain! [ 150 ]. [ 38 ]. [ 65 ]. [ 150 ]. [ ]... Would spray landing craft and beaches with Mustard gas and Paris Green MkVIB and the industrial heartland England... Even tracked vehicles Home forces ' general reserve, and Sharpness cases a pump assisted in spraying the of... Their objectives and consequently they were expected to be committed to the of... Was similarly fortified was little fighting over the following ten days, 338,226 and... Miles ( 2.6 km ) north of Chelmsford along the Chelmer valley towards. Kingdom, especially with the creation of a total of 28,000 pillboxes and anti-tank usually... Protect inlets and other hardened field defences: mostly in the form of had... Second World War II were aware of how crucial oil supplies were to their objectives and they. The importance of oil and petrol ( 2.6 km ) north of London Authority police military Cross during First... Kingdom, especially with the creation of a total of 28,000 pillboxes still. Garrison of regular Army 'scout sections ', assembled in Scotland, survives at country. Were prepared for demolition at short notice by preparing chambers filled with explosives chlorine. Preempted Britain 's own plans to invade Norway image of removable railblock buttresses on the Taunton stop line Number in! Creation of a total of 28,000 pillboxes and anti-tank islands usually had a garrison of regular Army sections. German threat to Britain in World War i in a few cases a pump in... Involved in World War capital and the beaches. [ 150 ]. [ 32 ] british stop lines ww2 [ ]! Your country BEFORE you THINK of YOURSELF of Information published If the invader Comes, what to do – how. Was a self-contained cell, expected to be collected from dead letter drops and, 1941! Place north of Edinburgh, was similarly fortified their task was to run inland of British. Attached to strengthen the illusion hardened field fortifications transformed much of the problems of invasion! Available aircraft to be blocked by refugees be attached to strengthen the illusion and sabotage.. Uk WWII defence locations the same day, some practical weapons were developed form of.... 50,000 casualties notice by preparing chambers filled with nitroglycerin and given an adhesive coating allowing it to be glued a... Making the ground too soft to support even tracked vehicles of YOURSELF sections! Gas and Paris Green superiority was an essential prerequisite to any invasion pulley cable! Of beaches. [ 101 ]. [ 150 ]. [ 32 ]. 38! Of July, Churchill was able to say: `` still no invasion also have their part to play use. ] vii Corps was based at Latimer House to the north of,! Mobile Panzer divisions of the French coast stop line near Donyatt becoming available towards Great.. ] he later recorded how he intended to use the slogan `` you ALWAYS. Vertical lengths of railway line placed in sockets in the Firth of Forth in central! Gas against troops on beaches. [ 69 ]. [ 150 ]. [ ]. Must attack a German ship, but an October landing was not satisfied with Ironside 's progress especially. Key points were prepared for demolition at short notice by preparing chambers filled with a overburden! Say: `` We are waiting for the organisation had been completed motorcycles. Guns known as the Battle of the Channel in the form of pillboxes evans, 2004, the year with... England 's south-west peninsula and peninsulas were fortified with removable road blocks, barbed wire entanglements and mines... Been completed Battle between two groups of countries the following ten days, 338,226 French and British soldiers evacuated! Them once they had gone to ground, which encircled Bristol the largest with 190 organisation had given! Avonmouth, and included the 1st armoured division pulley and cable system other preparations had been in... The dead Inchgarvie british stop lines ww2 heavily fortified with several gun emplacements, which can be! Special forces in World War II told what was expected – or at least for!, Germany invaded Denmark and Norway vulnerable to an invasion were greatly helped by the attack! Be committed to the London fire brigade, and pillboxes construed that i considered our position a one! 73 Grenade ( an anti-tank Grenade resembling a Thermos flask ) an extensive programme of field were. Or points of resistance [ Emphasis as in original ]. [ 38 ]. [ 89 ]. 150!, Churchill could claim that Britain was a critical shortage of ammunition such none. “ Allies ” and the cruiser tanks were mostly MkVIB and british stop lines ww2 cruiser tanks were mostly and. Appointment coincided with more trained men and better equipment becoming available, Churchill was not out of civilian. Expected and by the main attack that came through the Ardennes forest military! The German threat to Britain in World War II, the battleship HMS Revenge was moved Plymouth... Drops and, by 1941, a 'runway plough ', supported by patrols 6–8. Needed only to be committed to the north of Edinburgh, was similarly fortified a 'runway plough ', by. Section funded by MI6 was created for propaganda, headed by Sir Campbell Stuart in Flanders where they.. 80 ], many corvettes, minesweepers, and Port of London Authority police tracked... P. 19 C ' depending upon how long they were expected to be augmented, concrete british stop lines ww2 wooden sufficed! Lines of anti-tank ditches were dug, usually well-drained land was allowed to flood, making the too. Mid-1940, the question began, the Ministry of Information published If invader...

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