By Bernard Lowry
In the summertime of 1940, Britain requested itself no longer 'will Hitler invade?' yet 'when?' SEALION, the German invasion plan, provoked the development of pillboxes, coastal defences, heavy-gun emplacements and anti-aircraft batteries, in addition to the formation of the house protect and covert teams. Later, new hazards changed SEALION: radar detection structures have been elevated throughout the Blitz years, as have been intelligence-gathering platforms and listening posts. From 1944, Britain was once back confronted with a dangerous possibility, Hitler's 'Vengeance weapons'. This name presents a concise review of Britain's protective structures, and provides a vibrant photo of struggle at the domestic entrance.
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Extra info for British Home Defences 1940-45 (Fortress, Volume 20)
2 Gun is at B), which cover the approaches to the beach. Considerable thought was given to the camouflage of coast artillery positions. Often a false roof would be built on top of the gun house and a canvas screen, painted to represent the front of a building, could be drawn across the front and secured with pegs, as shown in the inset image (K). To prevent the gun’s shadow giving itself away, it would often be moved to lie parallel with the front of the gun house. 2 Gun. The guns OPPOSITE One of the few surviving examples of a 6in.
The first such site was the Cabinet War Rooms, built before the war, and situated in a reinforced basement beneath offices in Whitehall, London. At the beginning of the war the Admiralty Citadel was built not far from the Cabinet War Rooms in London, to protect the Navy staffs. The German tactic of attempting to destroy the apparatus of government dictated the building of yet more war rooms in inner and outer London. The height of its buildings and the breadth of the River Thames made the centre of London easy to identify from above, and therefore vulnerable to both bomber and surprise parachute attack.
In fact, in respect of the V1, the Germans were already adopting new tactics by siting new, easily erected launching rails in centres of population or disguising them using other forms of camouflage. The first V1 to land on London came in the immediate aftermath of D-Day, launched from a site between the River Seine and the Belgian border of France, and landing in Bethnal Green. Thousands more would follow, causing over 6,000 fatalities. Once launched and on its way to Britain, this small missile, flying at about 3,000ft, posed severe tactical problems to the defenders.