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Wartime defences

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Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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46 of 51  Sun 9th Jul 2017 2:39pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:1642

Robin D Leach. This topic has only come to light recently so I missed your original request, I can pin-point exactly where the north of the city gun sites were, are you still interested?
Wartime defences
LesMac
Coventry
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47 of 51  Sun 9th Jul 2017 5:09pm  
Member: Joined Dec 2011  Total posts:272

Kaga. Here is a map of gun placements in UK. Unfortunately it doesn't give proper names to the gun positions.
Wartime defences
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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48 of 51  Mon 17th Jul 2017 11:04am  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:1642

LesMac. Thanks for the map. During 1939 the gov't passed a defence act that gave ministries drastic powers, no one owned anything anymore, the gov't did, Factory owners were told what to make and how much, farmers were told what to plant and how much, councils were told who they had to accommodate, and numbers, and given the power to do so. The council told my father we had to take in soldiers and my sister lost her room. The military told the agr. ministry they needed a field. The agr. told the farmer, the farmer moved his cattle into the football field and the footballers lost their pitch. A guy had a lovely garden, '39 was a sweltering summer, he watered his garden before leaving for work - when he came home it had disappeared, the council had to get to the water mains (for some reason under his garden) to connect to the new army barracks. On one side of the road they placed a big gun to defend Coventry and the power station, half a mile away they placed a smaller gun, to look after its big brother from low level attacks. A low raider came over, hit Sutton Stop, drained the canal, that in turn put the power station out of action till the canal was restored, and the military changed the small gun to one larger. (One darn thing after another.)
Wartime defences
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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49 of 51  Thu 20th Jul 2017 7:00pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:1642

I'm not sure if anyone is interested in the war anymore, but people since the war will never know how close they were to having no life at all, for had the Germans won, all British males would have been sterilized or worked in labour camps. Very few people before the war thought the German bombers would reach Coventry, and although we had a large AA gun outside our house and next to the power station, I have no idea of the placement of others - there was nothing within a mile of that gunsite, no barrage balloon, no defense at all to my knowledge. I don't recall anything near the Morris, Sterling Metals or Riley. But in those early days, the war was far afield and apart from the rationing and blackout did not effect Coventry directly. When suddenly France was getting overrun and we were getting pushed back to the sea, people as well as military realised, with Germany being able to use French airfields and ports, they would be only a step away from Britain. Fear swept through Britain, this was about May 1940. 9 months into the war, Dunkirk was about to happen, the gov't then called for volunteers to join a fighting force the LDV, later called the Home Guard. The phoney war was over. Within days of the fall of Paris, German troops were massed on the Channel coast, poised for invasion. People left the south coast in droves, southern towns were ghost towns. Invasion committees were set up. The Germans had sped through France at such speed, tension gripped England - it was easy to think it would propel them to invade. Signposts were removed, farmers were asked to move hayricks to the middle of fields to stop gliders from landing. Hundreds of posters were put up - 'Keep calm'. Large houses in the Midlands were made ready for the Cabinet, Churchill, and the Royal Family to move to. Church bells could only be rung by military or police. But for some reason Hitler turned to the east and left England to his bombers.
Wartime defences
flapdoodle
Coventry
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50 of 51  Fri 21st Jul 2017 11:01pm  
Member: Joined Nov 2010  Total posts:826

Hitler was well known to admire Britain, so I doubt he would have done that. He turned 'east' because the Nazis lost. The Battle of Britain was their attempt to eliminate the RAF to facilitate an invasion. When they lost, Hitler abandoned any plans. He was always planning to invade Russia. They didn't have much of a chance of a successful invasion as they didn't have the equipment or the experience of an amphibious assault, and back then the Royal Navy ruled the waves.
Wartime defences
LesMac
Coventry
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51 of 51  Sat 22nd Jul 2017 10:03am  
Member: Joined Dec 2011  Total posts:272

Quite correct flapdoodle, Germany couldn't invade Britain and Hitler knew it. Kaga is correct that plenty of people left rural areas but it was not because they were afraid it was because they wanted to work in Britain's industrial heartlands, the Midlands. There are two myths about Britain in 1940. First, that the result of the Battle of Britain saved England from invasion. The second is that with fighter command destroyed Germany could just walk into England. Not counting William of Orange who was invited to England the only invasion to succeed was the invasion of 1066. At that time Harold was in Yorkshire fighting his brother. Hitler would not have that luxury of having two and a half million British armed men being in Yorkshire.. Invading England is incredibly difficult. Everything has to be in place. First a full moon would be useful as departure from France and Norway would need to take place in the evening prior to landing. Landing at dawn is a must because the Germans would need as many hours of daylight as possible to secure a good foothold.. Those barges further north would need to start away first so everything came together nicely. A high tide is also useful as landing as high up the beach as possible is a must. During 1940 there was only a few days when all these conditions were in place. Landing by glider would not be a viable because farmers left machinery in open fields. Hitler's invasion fleet consisted of barges made for river work that for the most part had no engines and would have to be towed across the channel by fishing boats. Some from as far away as Norway. With a maximum speed of about four MPH some of the barges would have to be at sea for at least four tides, some a lot more. Would the soldiers be battle ready when they reached England's south coast? Doubtful. Adolf had a lot of faith in the use of horses in 1940. Perhaps he was right as no vehicles would be available on landing. British troops,perhaps three or four regiments would be waiting with heavy artillery to repel the invaders who may not be in condition to fight. That is of course if Operation Sealion ever reached our shores. One can only guess at the condition of the horses after several days at sea In 1940 the Royal Navy was massive with over 750 fighting ships with 150 in home waters Churchill had stationed 40 destroyers around the south coast in case Sealion was ever launched. The bow wave from a destroyer would swamp Hitler's barges and Hitler knew it. Keeping river and canal craft ready for invasion created other problems. The barges were a vital form of transport,keeping them in various ports made transport of coal etc very difficult. Bomber Harris wanted to destroy these vast rafts of barges at their morings but Churchill wanted Adolf to launch Sealion as he knew that the Royal Navy could easily destroy the barges and everything they contained. Hitler as usual lied about the reason that Sealion was never launched, he blamed the weather. Not true. Hitler knew that an invasion would be to costly in men and equipment. Operation Sealion would have been a disaster for Adolf. Hitler may have been insane, launching Barbarossa and declaring war on a the USA within a very short time of each other was the act of a madman.
Wartime defences

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