British Army at home September 1940

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Re: British Army at home September 1940

Post by Knouterer » 13 Apr 2014 11:48

Clive Mortimore wrote:[
While on the subject of armoured trains and the references to the Somerset Light Infantry we must not forget the RHDR armoured train. It consisted of a 15 inch gauge 4-8-2 locomotive (No 8 Hurcules) with two gun cars, each armed with a Boys anti tank rifle and two Lewis guns, one for AA defence. At first manned by the SLI. http://inlanding.files.wordpress.com/20 ... _train.jpg Depending on which account you read, the train claimed an aircraft. Which I believe makes this the only armoured train to see action in the defence of Britian and the smallest in the world to do so.
Some info on this train from the WD (WO 166/4657) of the 6th Somerset Light Infantry, who ran it. This bn moved to Romney Marsh mid-July. The miniature armoured train was it seems an idea of the Bn Adjutant, one captain Ellis:

“He proposes to run an armoured train consisting of three iron hopper waggons with two Lewis Guns and an Anti-Tk rifle mounted to provide mobile fire power. The train is to be drawn by one of the line’s engines, which is a Rolls Royce 12 Cylinder Motor mounted on bogies with a driver’s cab to be specially armoured by the R.E. The line is probably to be requisitioned throughout its length for the use of the whole Bde front.”

The line had by then been closed to civilian traffic for a couple of weeks. The R.E. began work on the train in a workshop in New Romney. It was soon found the diesel engine could not support the weight of the armour and it was replaced by a steam engine (Hercules as noted above).
Operation Instruction No. 6 of the 6th SLI of 10.9.1940:
"(…)
3. Defences in sector T will be reinforced by a mobile light armoured train operating between New Romney and Bridge 562510.
4. If a situation develops on the Right flank A Sub Area the train may be used to reinforce this flank under orders from 135 Inf. Bde.
5. This train will normally be based on New Romney station, but during the hours of darkness when a state of readiness is ordered it will move to Dymchurch station. This move will be completed nightly by 2000 hours.
6. Train crew will consist of: Train Commander; 2 Turret Gunners; 2 A.A. gunners; Engine Driver; and Spare Driver-Loader.
7. The train will carry reserve S.A.A., rations and water.
8. Tasks:
a) To reinforce by fire any of the forward areas.
b) To deny to the enemy approach along or crossing of line of Light Railway.
c) To patrol between the boundaries specified at dusk and dawn (Note: task c) will not at present be undertaken until the results of a trial have been considered.
9. Train Commander will arrange for the following stores to be on siding at Dymchurch station:
1 Ballast waggon, ready filled.
1 Small truck, coal reserve
Dump of rail, fishplates, spikes,
so that in the event of damage to the line by bombing repairs may be effected quickly.
10. During state of alarm the train will remain under cover in Dymchurch station with steam up by night. Train crew will rest until stand-to; spare personnel will find a sentry. At stand-to spare personnel will piquet approaches to station.
11. No other train services will run in the evening during period of alarm.
12. Intercommunication - Normally by civilian telephone – Littlestone 36 or Litlestone 50. During alarm by D.R., runner or cyclist to Dymchurch station.
13. Code name for train is under consideration.
14. Armoured train will make a trial patrol run from New Romney to Burmarsh Road and return to Dymchurch station on Tuesday September 10th and will be timed to pass Dymchurch Station on the outward run at 1940 hours. The up line only will be used for this purpose.”
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Re: British Army at home September 1940

Post by phylo_roadking » 13 Apr 2014 14:14

...you've chosen to avoid the whole issue that even your own contributed material shows that your example battery wasn't able to practice fire UNTIL their gunnery officers received training fron the Royal Navy...exactly as Lavery says...
That is not what Lavery says, and you know it. As you said yourself a few pages back: "Lavery notes that aiming and fire control systems were of the naval type and parties had to be sent round to re-train the Army to use them in situ."
There's no getting away from the detail of the war diary section you posted up from your example battery. The battery was built and operational - but didn't fire its very first practice shoot until AFTER that training eas received. It's ALL there and VERY clearly detailed and dated.
So far you have not provided one single instance of that actually happening.


No - I didn't need to, YOU did.
And before you start twisting my words in all directions again, I never said that the army didn't need ANY help from the Royal Navy, I merely pointed out that coast defence had long been the responsibility of the Royal Artillery (and not primarily of the Navy as was the case in some other countries, notably Germany) and that therefore they were not nearly as helpless as Lavery and you seem to believe.
YOU provided an example of an Emergency Battery that didn't fire even it's first training shoot until its gunnery officers received Navy training...even though the Battery had been certified as "operational".
To be clear, I am not excluding the possibility that such training by naval parties after the batteries had been installed may have occurred here or there, but to claim that it was everywhere the case is simply a misrepresentation of the known facts - which include the fact that a large portion of the guns, aiming and firing systems were not "of the naval type", certainly not in the sense that the Coast Gunners had never seen anything of the kind before.
Wondeful - except YOU are the one provided the example of EXACTLY that happening.
In general, it would be easier for me to "take on board" your comments if you didn't keep shifting your ground constantly.
In reference to the diary section on an Emrgency Battery that YOU provided - it's your ground shifting under your own feet. Here's the perfect example, now that you've gone back and edited your post -
Also, please note that the WD item about the officers going on a "short course on naval equipments" that you so triumphantly point to, does not say WHO was dispensing these courses. It may have been the Navy; it may equally well - perhaps more likely - have been the Coast Artillery.
That's REALLY reaching :lol: ALL you're doing is trying to wriggle out from under the implications of what you posted by casting up another wholly unproven opinion. I would have thought that your debacle over the personnel count at Lympne might have taught you not to do that! :lol: Every time you do that it reduces the value of your arguments further.
One day you claim the emergency batteries were too high up on the cliffs to hit anything
Let's see THATquote! :lol:
the next day that they were too close to the waterline ...
You really don't grasp that height of the BOP above sea level improves range of observation do you??? :lol:

By the way - I find it interesting that you're prepared to quote big chunks of 6th SLI's war diary...
“He proposes to run an armoured train consisting of three iron hopper waggons with two Lewis Guns and an Anti-Tk rifle mounted to provide mobile fire power. The train is to be drawn by one of the line’s engines, which is a Rolls Royce 12 Cylinder Motor mounted on bogies with a driver’s cab to be specially armoured by the R.E. The line is probably to be requisitioned throughout its length for the use of the whole Bde front.”
"(…)
3. Defences in sector T will be reinforced by a mobile light armoured train operating between New Romney and Bridge 562510.
4. If a situation develops on the Right flank A Sub Area the train may be used to reinforce this flank under orders from 135 Inf. Bde.
5. This train will normally be based on New Romney station, but during the hours of darkness when a state of readiness is ordered it will move to Dymchurch station. This move will be completed nightly by 2000 hours.
6. Train crew will consist of: Train Commander; 2 Turret Gunners; 2 A.A. gunners; Engine Driver; and Spare Driver-Loader.
7. The train will carry reserve S.A.A., rations and water.
8. Tasks:
a) To reinforce by fire any of the forward areas.
b) To deny to the enemy approach along or crossing of line of Light Railway.
c) To patrol between the boundaries specified at dusk and dawn (Note: task c) will not at present be undertaken until the results of a trial have been considered.
9. Train Commander will arrange for the following stores to be on siding at Dymchurch station:
1 Ballast waggon, ready filled.
1 Small truck, coal reserve
Dump of rail, fishplates, spikes,
so that in the event of damage to the line by bombing repairs may be effected quickly.
10. During state of alarm the train will remain under cover in Dymchurch station with steam up by night. Train crew will rest until stand-to; spare personnel will find a sentry. At stand-to spare personnel will piquet approaches to station.
11. No other train services will run in the evening during period of alarm.
12. Intercommunication - Normally by civilian telephone – Littlestone 36 or Litlestone 50. During alarm by D.R., runner or cyclist to Dymchurch station.
13. Code name for train is under consideration.
14. Armoured train will make a trial patrol run from New Romney to Burmarsh Road and return to Dymchurch station on Tuesday September 10th and will be timed to pass Dymchurch Station on the outward run at 1940 hours. The up line only will be used for this purpose.”
...in respect of the miniature armoured train - but when asked to provide the full war diary narrative on the air raid on Lymone detailed by the 6th SLI, you refused to...

:wink:
Last edited by phylo_roadking on 13 Apr 2014 14:51, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: British Army at home September 1940

Post by Knouterer » 13 Apr 2014 14:37

phylo_roadking wrote: Let's see THATquote! :lol:


:wink:
Here's your quote Phylo, from 8 Feb:

"That statement might bear some research on a battery-by battery basis to determine if they could depress far enough to cover beaches and surf at high water...! Given the number of batteries that occupied clifftop positions... "

Anyway, the pattern of our arguments has by now become clear:

- I say that something was most likely white.
- You immediately pounce and proclaim, in an overbearing and condescending tone, that OF COURSE it was black.
- I provide evidence that it was indeed white.
- You pretend that you have always said that in fact it was a shade of grey and that the weight of the evidence, seen in a certain (very dim) light, supports that view, and that you have therefore conclusively won the argument.

I really see no further point in arguing with somebody who suffers from a compulsive urge to contradict, contest and negatively comment on every single thing I write, and who is incapable of admitting he's wrong.
"The true spirit of conversation consists in building on another man's observation, not overturning it." Edward George Bulwer-Lytton

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Re: British Army at home September 1940

Post by phylo_roadking » 13 Apr 2014 14:49

One day you claim the emergency batteries were too high up on the cliffs to hit anything
Here's your quote Phylo, from 8 Feb:

"That statement might bear some research on a battery-by battery basis to determine if they could depress far enough to cover beaches and surf at high water...! Given the number of batteries that occupied clifftop positions... "
:lol: :lol: :lol: "Anything", eh?

It obviously didn't strike you that clifftop batteries would have a far better range of observation and observed and corrected fire out to sea at offshore targets out to maximum range than batteries and BOPs at or close to sea level. Increasing height above sea level allowing the observer to see further, an' all that... :wink: I'm afraid THAT one is simple school-level geography.
I really see no further point in arguing with somebody who suffers from a compulsive urge to contradict, contest and negatively comment on every single thing I write, and who is incapable of admitting he's wrong.
As I DID note a page ago...
...it would appear there's only one of us...
...in that position.
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Re: British Army at home September 1940

Post by Knouterer » 13 Apr 2014 16:52

phylo_roadking wrote: ...in respect of the miniature armoured train - but when asked to provide the full war diary narrative on the air raid on Lymone detailed by the 6th SLI, you refused to...

:wink:
Oh, is that "the way we do things here" as you're so fond of saying Phylo? When we lose an argument, we try to get our own back by casting doubt on the integrity of the other poster?
If I were British, I would say that's really not cricket, or is it, old boy?
But anyway, please be my guest, have a good read.

At this point, to prevent another shutdown, I would like to promise our dear readers (if we have any left ...) and the administrators that I will not allow myself to be further provoked. From now on, I will simply ignore all posts that in my considered opinion are unduly aggressive, condescending or otherwise lacking in basic respect for others.

Likewise, I will not be drawn anymore into endless and fruitless exchanges about very minor points - even if certain people want to pretend they're HUGELY significant - firstly because I have better things to do, and secondly beause I can't imagine anyone else is much interested.

Such are my inalterable decisions; and no amount of frantic arm-waving, no invocations of "Lavery !!!" or any hordes of dementedly grinning smileys will cause me to deviate from them. :milwink:
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Re: British Army at home September 1940

Post by Knouterer » 13 Apr 2014 17:20

Leaving unpleasantness behind - at least I hope so - and while awaiting more definite info on the defences of RAF Lympne at the end of Sept., I think I am now in a position to give a definite answer to a question that has come up a number of times in these discussions, namely, who was defending the Royal Military Canal.

After studying the WDs of the 18th Royal Fusiliers and the 6th SLI, it appears that the former unit was holding the line of the RMC from Appledore (incl.) to Goldenhurst Farm (incl.). As indicated (very roughly) on this (early 1930s) map, the 6th SLI was on the left of 135th Bde (and partly behind the Canal), the 5th on the right (Gooner has quoted from the defence scheme of this bn from early Sept.), and the 7th as brigade reserve in the middle.
More detailed info to follow later.
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Re: British Army at home September 1940

Post by Knouterer » 13 Apr 2014 17:36

6th SLI (WO 166/4657):
This bn was “split off” from the 4th SLI at the end of Aug. 1939. 1 colonel (G. Flemming, OBE, MC), 4 captains, 7 lieutenants and 6 second lieutenants transferred to the new unit, which initially consisted of a HQ coy and 2 rifle coys (C and D). A and B were formed in Sept, but by the end of the year strength was still only 28 officers and 441 ORs. In the new year, there were several large intakes – some with prior ITC training, others raw recruits apparently – the last of which in April became E (Training) Coy.
Motorcycle platoon (1off, 32 ORs) formed end of May. At that time, the Bn was in Kent with the rest of 135 Bde (Kennington near Ashford).
30 July: Tank Hunting Platoon formed.
At that time the Bn HQ was in Burmarsh, with an advance HQ in Melbourne House, Dymchurch, 543479.
There were 3 Coys on the shoreline from Dymchurch Redoubt (excl.) to Littlestone, with 1 Coy in reserve area Blackmanstone. Forward Coys responsible for area between waterline and light railway, right hand Coy to keep an eye on Littlestone landing ground (this task may have been passed to the troops of No.6 Commando when they arrived in Littlestone in September). Carrier platoon and motorcycle platoon in reserve in Burmarsh,
By September, the Bn had been rearranged somewhat and D Coy was in sector Z, i.e. behind the RMC.
Selected quotes from the Bn Defence Scheme :

“6. “A” sub-area is divided into eight sectors.
Of these,
Sector T is present 6 Som. L.I. area on LEFT of 135 Bde.
Sector Z is LEFT REAR sector behind R.M.Canal.
Sectors S and Y are present 7 Som. L.I. area.
Sector B is line of R.M. Canal bounded on RIGHT by the coast and on LEFT by TRACK 519526.
7. Troops in sector T:
6 Som. L.I. (less D Coy HQ and 3 pls)
(less No. 6 Pl)
S.L. Dets No. 36 at 537472, No 34 at 518499
No. 1 Pl C Coy Home Guard DYMCHURCH.

8. Troops in sector Z:
D Coy less 1 Pl.
No.6 Pl.
No. 3 Sec. HQ 338 S.L. Coy ALDINGTON CORNER
No. 2 Pl HQ and No. 1 Sec. B Coy Home Guard ALDINGTON
In support - 1 Pl 7 Devons (4 M.Gs)

(Points 9-13 deal with Vulnerable Points (V.P.s), there were none of category A or B in the sectors in question, only some category C bridges; assistance to the police; role of the Home Guard, of which there were only 2 platoons as indicated).
14. A.A. Units – In addition to their primary role of defence against aircraft, S.L. units have certain ground defence responsibilities.
15. The following orders have been issued by 27 A.A. Bde:
a) Against minor enemy landings, air-borne or sea-borne, S.L detachments will operate under command of Sectors but they will remain on their site by night, and their radius of action by day will be limited to 1000 yds from their site. The sending of Intelligence is a priority task.
b) In the event of a major invasion, S.L. Detachments will be embodied in the defence personnel to the nearest fortress or will continue to hold a tactical position near its own site. The decision as to their action will lie with the Fortress commander who will issue the necessary orders.
16. Armoured vehicles.
a) 3 armoured cars will shortly come under command 55 Field Regt, their main task will be to take on parachutists in the rear Sectors of the Marsh.
b) Armoured trains:
i) One standard gauge train will be operating in support on the main line traversing sub-area.
ii) A light gauge armoured train will be operating at the light railway under command Sector T.

17. Demolitions. The following crossing over the R.M. CANAL have been prepared for demolition:
APPLEDORE 3947
WAREHORNE 4250
HAM STREET 4450
RUCKINGE 4651
BILSINGTON 4752
PARSONAGE FARM 4952
COLLEGE FARM 5052
RAILWAY BRIDGE WAREHORNE 426504
All other crossings have been destroyed.
18. Artillery. In support fwd areas (Sector T)
(a) 55 Field Regt
(b) 56 Heavy Regt.
Primary tasks sea and beaches on whole front.
(19 to 23 less relevant organizational issues)
24. Fortresses. T Sector will be organized into two fortresses and two outlying forward areas.
25. Dymchurch Fortress.
O.C. Fortress – Captain D.D.B. Cook
Troops under Comd – B Coy 6 Som L.I., Mortar Pl, Home Guard, 1 Sec. 7 Devons (3 M.Gs)
Troops in Area – Bn. HQ Staff, R.A.P., Decontamination Centre (Pioneers)
26. Burmarsh Fortress.
O.C. Fortress – Major E.W.H. Worrall
Troops under Comd – C Coy, Carrier Pl, Motorcycle Pl, 2 dets A.A. pl
Troops under Comd not in fortress – No. 34 S.L. Det. 518499.
27. Right Forward Area (St. Mary’s Bay)
A Coy, under Comd NO. 36 S.L. Det. 537472
28. Left Forward Area (558496)
18 Pl
29. Fortifications. Fortresses will be made doubly tank-proof.
a) by a complete peripheral A/tk obstacle
b) By an inner obstacle round a keep to prevent circulation inside.
in the priority shown above.
30. Outer forward areas – Will adopt fortress principle forthwith.
31. Priority of construction.
1) Dymchurch fortress
2) Burmarsh fortress
3) St. Mary’s Bay fortress
4) 18 Pl area fortress
32. Defence schemes – Fortress Commanders will prepare written defence schemes for their fortresses – together with plans of defences in the case of St. Mary’s Bay and Burmarsh.
33. Dymchurch defence plan.
Plan showing defences a) A/Tk obstacles
b) Road blocks
c) A/Tk minefields
d) Bridge demolitions
e) Houses earmarked for demoltion to clear fields of fire
is attached as Appendix C (regrettably, not in the file)
34. Flank guard – Z sector will be organized to deny enemy penetration of left flank along road Lympne-Bonington.
35. Fire engines – The term is applied to a local mobile reserve consisting of one platoon on cycles, for the purpose of rapid concentration to deal with parachute or small air-borne landings.
36. T Sector fire engine will be organized by D Coy and will be under Comd O.C. D Coy.”

We see thus that the “three up, one down” configuration was changed, by the second half of September, to a more in-depth defence, with only A and B Coy (plus one platoon of D Coy) on the coastline, while C Coy was in Burmarsh, with the Bn HQ and reserve, and D Coy behind the RMC.
Regarding the numbering of platoons: platoons 1 to 6 were the platoons of the HQ Coy. Signals Pl. was No. 1, AA Pl. was 2, Mortar Pl. was 3, Carrier Pl. was 4, Pioneer Pl. was 5. I’m not entirely certain what No. 6 was; the Motorcycle Pl. is generally referred to as “M platoon”. It may have been the “Tank Hunting Platoon”. Platoons in the four rifle Coys were numbered 7 to 18, so that 16, 17 and 18 were in D Coy.
Interestingly, the 6th SLI had strengthened its A.A. defences – with the consent of the RAF – with a MG 17 machine gun taken from a crashed Me 110.
Dymchurch, by the way, doesn’t seem a very suitable village to turn into a “fortress”, judging by photos it lacked the kind of large, solid, non-combustible buildings that can with advantage be fortified. In fact the centre of the village had largely been destroyed on 24 Aug. when He 111s that had been intercepted and driven back by RAF fighters dropped about 30 bombs on it.
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Re: British Army at home September 1940

Post by Dunserving » 13 Apr 2014 17:43

"Minor points" still killed people in combat situations. Hardly insignificant.
We should also remember that some gun batteries were well back from the cliff edge in the Dover area. One in particular was several miles back from the coast.

Quite right that the higher a gun battery and OP, the further it can see and shoot accurately, but with the obvious problem that they have a minimum range due to the limited minimum angle of depression below horizontal. Once invaders get close enough only seal level gun batteries can bombard them, and continue to bombard the as they come ashore.

Last week I walked along the Royal Military Canal with my dog. Obviously, over 74 years a lot has changed, but even so it remains easy to see that getting across it in force would have been a major problem for an invader. It would not be at all easy even now!

All buildings are combustible. All can be fortified. It's basic infantry training in the British Army. Amazing what you can do with a perfectly ordinary house. Dymchurch could have easily been made into a nightmare.

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Re: British Army at home September 1940

Post by phylo_roadking » 13 Apr 2014 18:15

Oh, is that "the way we do things here" as you're so fond of saying Phylo? When we lose an argument, we try to get our own back by casting doubt on the integrity of the other poster?
If I were British, I would say that's really not cricket, or is it, old boy?
But anyway, please be my guest, have a good read.
Not at all. Simply that there ARE rules about how things are done here. And you were in breach of them. Noone was casting any aspertions - YOU had simply failed to respect - "If he has no evidence, or doesn't provide it when asked, it is reasonable for the reader to conclude that his opinion or viewpoint is uninformed and may fairly be discounted or rejected."
Thank you for correcting your earlier refusal.

At this point, to prevent another shutdown, I would like to promise our dear readers (if we have any left ...) and the administrators that I will not allow myself to be further provoked. From now on, I will simply ignore all posts that in my considered opinion are unduly aggressive, condescending or otherwise lacking in basic respect for others.

Likewise, I will not be drawn anymore into endless and fruitless exchanges about very minor points - even if certain people want to pretend they're HUGELY significant - firstly because I have better things to do, and secondly beause I can't imagine anyone else is much interested.

Such are my inalterable decisions; and no amount of frantic arm-waving, no invocations of "Lavery !!!" or any hordes of dementedly grinning smileys will cause me to deviate from them.
"If you find an argument is flawed, point out the flaws and the evidence to the contrary, and leave it at that. There is no need to resort to insults which do not prove your point. If you disagree with a contributor, please use your energy to show why his argument is mistaken. This will improve both the tone and quality of our discussions."

And if Lavery happens to contradict you he'll be referenced. As would any other author. Once referenced - "When a person becomes an advocate, he has the burden of providing evidence for his point of view. If he has no evidence, or doesn't provide it when asked, it is reasonable for the reader to conclude that his opinion or viewpoint is uninformed and may fairly be discounted or rejected."
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Re: British Army at home September 1940

Post by phylo_roadking » 13 Apr 2014 18:24

Interestingly, the 6th SLI had strengthened its A.A. defences – with the consent of the RAF – with a MG 17 machine gun taken from a crashed Me 110.
Curious use of the term "stength" there - things must have been bad if a single rifle-calibre MG with questionable ammunition resupply "strengthened" their defences.

Haven't we seen a pic of this item before?
Dymchurch, by the way, doesn’t seem a very suitable village to turn into a “fortress”, judging by photos it lacked the kind of large, solid, non-combustible buildings that can with advantage be fortified. In fact the centre of the village had largely been destroyed on 24 Aug. when He 111s that had been intercepted and driven back by RAF fighters dropped about 30 bombs on it.
Stalingrad? Monte Cassino??? Piles of rubble tend to make quite effective defensible sites...often more so than original buildings.
35. Fire engines – The term is applied to a local mobile reserve consisting of one platoon on cycles, for the purpose of rapid concentration to deal with parachute or small air-borne landings.
Bruno Brauer would indeed have been quaking in his boots...one platoon vs two battalion-sized drops...

I wonder how ready they'd have been for combat after pedalling up the hill through Lympne village! :lol:


By the way - the "18th Royal Fusiliers" - I take it you mean the battalion of that name rostered under 2nd London Infantry Brigade?
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Re: British Army at home September 1940

Post by phylo_roadking » 13 Apr 2014 18:33

Dunserving...
Quite right that the higher a gun battery and OP, the further it can see and shoot accurately, but with the obvious problem that they have a minimum range due to the limited minimum angle of depression below horizontal. Once invaders get close enough only seal level gun batteries can bombard them, and continue to bombard the as they come ashore.
Exactly. Unfortunately, nowhere on the coast were there "layered" Emergency Batteries. It was height OR sea level :(
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Re: British Army at home September 1940

Post by Dunserving » 13 Apr 2014 19:20

phylo_roadking wrote:
Dymchurch, by the way, doesn’t seem a very suitable village to turn into a “fortress”, judging by photos it lacked the kind of large, solid, non-combustible buildings that can with advantage be fortified. In fact the centre of the village had largely been destroyed on 24 Aug. when He 111s that had been intercepted and driven back by RAF fighters dropped about 30 bombs on it.
Stalingrad? Monte Cassino??? Piles of rubble tend to make quite effective defensible sites...often more so than original buildings.

What can I add, but that the response seems to me to a good example of why FIBUA & OBUA oft get referred to as FISH & CHIPS!

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Re: British Army at home September 1940

Post by Knouterer » 13 Apr 2014 21:46

If I had said that Dymchurch could with little trouble have been made into an impregnable fortress, Phylo & Dunserving would straightaway have started arguing that the Germans would have swept through it in a minute ... :lol:

Anyway, a couple of interesting shots of Dymchurch in 1948/1949 to illustrate what I mean, it doesn't look like Stalingrad or even Monte Cassino; a flattened seaside cottage or fish & chips shop doesn't make a very impressive pile of rubble. Of course, even Dymchurch could have been a "fortress" if the defenders had been really determined.
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Knouterer
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Re: British Army at home September 1940

Post by Knouterer » 13 Apr 2014 21:49

The first picture shows Martellos 24 and 25 (guarding the sluice gate), and No 24 (furthest from the camera) was the subject of an interservice struggle for control in August 1940:
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phylo_roadking
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Re: British Army at home September 1940

Post by phylo_roadking » 13 Apr 2014 22:02

If I had said that Dymchurch could with little trouble have been made into an impregnable fortress, Phylo & Dunserving would straightaway have started arguing that the Germans would have swept through it in a minute ...
You know, it really IS time that you stopped the personal attacks. That doesn't help ANY of your arguments either...

Anyway, a couple of interesting shots of Dymchurch in 1948/1949 to illustrate what I mean, it doesn't look like Stalingrad or even Monte Cassino; a flattened seaside cottage or fish & chips shop doesn't make a very impressive pile of rubble...
No - it's actually far BETTER than I could have hoped! I've only ever been through the middle of Dymchurch twice, you don't get a good idea of the "depth" of the town. You don't seem to grasp that that sort of landscape is perfect for defenders - particularly infantry - each successive bit of open ground backed by buildings a defensive position covering open ground to be crossed, every individual building covering its neighbours....and due to the construction...rows and rows of "semis" - little or no chance of fast progression along a line of houses by "mouseholing". Plenty of green cover for groundlevel positions...and several nice laterally-running old drainage channels to restrict the breadth of the Germans' paths of advance into the town...I won't even mention the very interesting embankment the main road runs on top of! Which provides a parallel and secondary line of defence for the beach...

All backed by the railway line - an embanked position to hold the enemy longer and allow a withdrawal to the RMC in the background...

And of course that's BEFORE any minefields laid, roadblocks constructed, trenches dug etc. as per the sadly-missing defence schematic of the "fortress"!

As for this -
The first picture shows Martellos 24 and 25 (guarding the sluice gate), and No 24 (furthest from the camera) was the subject of an interservice struggle for control in August 1940:
Perhaps if you read back a few posts you might work out why...
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