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Wartime and the Blitz

Coventry & Warwickshire in WWII

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Ken Dickson
High Hesket Cumbria
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196 of 203  Wed 17th Feb 2021 7:02pm  
Member: Joined Jan 2015  Total posts:52

My research confirms what Not Local has written. The following sites, Historic England Archives, Wiki, Coventry Blitz mention that in 1940 Coventry's anti-aircraft defence consisted of twenty four 3.7 inch AA guns and twelve 40 mm Bofors, plus Barrage Balloons. The photograph being discussed is from Historic England Archives and is dated October 1998, Copyright Historic England Archives, ref : nmr 18174/06.
Wartime and the Blitz - Coventry & Warwickshire in WWII
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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197 of 203  Thu 18th Feb 2021 11:45am  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:3565

Not Local. All you need to do is look at that photo, four round circular objects, not large enough to take 3.7 guns, barrels too long to have complete swivel movement, barrels almost touching, would impede each other when firing. Enemy planes overhead would see four flashes close together, there would be almost a thousand live shells in that field, just one small bomb and the biggest explosion ever. Invasion by enemy troops, two grenades would also put them out of action, four at the most. Now look at the circular objects each with small circle inside. That was to take a small upright gadget that could take a smaller gun like Vickers or bren - the firer would walk round the circle, fire in any direction, except he would be firing into his friends. In Aldermans Green Road the 3.7 gun was a good half-mile from the Vickers gun and so were other sites I saw. To me, many years later, someone that knows nothing about warfare has come across such, placed them where they thought they would have been, and got it wrong. The easiest way is to see if anything was in the newspaper of that time. Look ,the ring of guns round Coventry was in 1939, we had to house the guys that built the gun site in Aldermans Green Road. The circular ring was about twenty feet across sunk in the earth, concrete with bolts embedded in, to fasten the gun down. Coventry did the same with the Basin - gave a statue to the guy who was sacked from the job.
Wartime and the Blitz - Coventry & Warwickshire in WWII
Not Local
Bedworth
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198 of 203  Thu 18th Feb 2021 1:15pm  
Member: Joined Feb 2014  Total posts:250

Kaga - I think that perhaps that photograph is deceptive. The site is much bigger than it looks. The gun emplacements are substantial structures built out of concrete. If you click on the link on my previous post you will see a photograph of the mock-up 3.7 inch gun in the gun emplacement at Leek Wootton. That gun site is laid out the same as the one at Fillongley. Their cardboard gun was built using photographs and measurements taken from a surviving gun in a museum. The records show that 24 of the 3.7 inch guns were installed in the defensive ring around the city, in my mind that would be 4 guns per site. There are other buildings further up the lane which could be of wartime vintage and could be the accommodation for the gun crews. I am assuming that the ammunition was stored in the opposite direction.
Wartime and the Blitz - Coventry & Warwickshire in WWII
Ken Dickson
High Hesket Cumbria
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199 of 203  Thu 18th Feb 2021 2:24pm  
Member: Joined Jan 2015  Total posts:52

Not Local - Your point about the photo being deceptive is valid. It is a photo taken from the air and it is difficult to determine the actual distance between each emplacement. Kaga makes an interesting point about the length of a 3.7inch AA gun barrel, which is about 4.7 metres and the barrels could interfere with each other. However if you look at Our Warwickshire, you will get the true picture under 'Second World War AA Battery Beckfield Lodge Farm, Fillongley' about this historic site.
Wartime and the Blitz - Coventry & Warwickshire in WWII
Not Local
Bedworth
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200 of 203  Thu 18th Feb 2021 4:00pm  
Member: Joined Feb 2014  Total posts:250

Ken - Thanks for that. The photographs and map confirm what I was trying to convey. The bit about the huts to the east confirms what I thought about them being contemporary with the gun battery.
Wartime and the Blitz - Coventry & Warwickshire in WWII
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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201 of 203  Thu 18th Feb 2021 4:32pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:3565

Not Local, Ken, Thank you for your info, accept what you say, cannot judge distances. They were once used on tanks, early part of war, so very low trajectory that could not be used in invasion warfare. Also, how would you bolt them down? Still leaves doubts, but thanks.
Wartime and the Blitz - Coventry & Warwickshire in WWII
Not Local
Bedworth
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202 of 203  Thu 18th Feb 2021 5:37pm  
Member: Joined Feb 2014  Total posts:250

Kaga - I have looked at a photograph of the 3.7 inch anti-aircraft gun outside the D Day Museum in Southsea. It is mounted on a steel pivot plate which in turn is bolted to a big concrete plinth. Much the same as you described the mountings for the Bofors gun at Aldermans Green. Hope this helps.
Wartime and the Blitz - Coventry & Warwickshire in WWII
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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203 of 203  Sat 20th Feb 2021 9:54am  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:3565

Not Local. And no concrete base in any of those four, they had central spigot. Not bofors 3.7 on concrete, the bofors replaced the vickers on site above the slough.
Wartime and the Blitz - Coventry & Warwickshire in WWII

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