Welcome to this blog which is intended to accompany a website on how Suffolk was defended during the Second War. The blog will describe my trips out and about looking for the remains of the Second War defences while the Website will concentrate on putting these into context.

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Friday, 1 January 2010

New Years Day part 2

After checking the ponies, decided to visit Westleton again (you may be thinking this website and blog are dedicated to Westleton, but with the short winter days, its only worth visiting sites within 15 minutes drive from my house!) A recent purchase on ebay (FSPB pamphlet No 7 Field Engineering 1944) has led me to re-evaluate some of the earthworks I've found to date. This pampphlet clearly illustrates field works now comprising of weapons-slits linked by slit trenches and crawl trenches (as opposed to the earlier fire trench dimension weapons-pits and fire trenches, which were no longer considered adequate protection against aircraft) - see two photos above from this pamphlet. Slits replaced pits from at least 1943 - does anyone know if it was earlier than this? My best guess is that at least some of the earth works at Westleton are training traces  - weapons-slits dug then linked by crawl trenches but never fully completed to full slit trench dimensions. The top map shows one system of earth works I've already posted on the blogs, but fire positions within the trench network are weapons-slits not pits! Hope this makes sense! The frosty photo shows a crawl trench from another system I mapped today. Ps sorry about the layout of photos, but this google blog seems to have a mind of its own in where to position them!
Note: the term pits and slits are quite often generally used - I am using the definitions given in various manuals: a (two man) weapons-pit typically was 4ft by 6ft and in fully developed systems would be dug to and linked with  full fire trench dimensions (approx 7ft wide at top). A weapons-slit was typically 2ft by 6ft

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