Monday, 8 February 2010
Waveney Forest again
Mon 8th Feb
A miserable grey day on the Suffolk Coast seemed an ideal opportunity to revisit Waveny Forest. Struck gold dust this time. Right from the start I want to emphasise that I found out about this area from a post on WW2 Talk by R Thomas (EH), so the details posted here are not my original discoveries (you can see his post on WW2 Talk, Home Front Forum although you will have to join to see his sketches of dugouts etc).
So what did I find? Many dugouts (all obviously lacking roofs, but much deeper remains than I have found in Suffolk), four gun pits aligned on the St Olaves Bridge, many weapons-pits and slits and a crenellated section post. Most remarkable although are the dugouts with a concrete roof, as Roger says in his post the condition of the wire netting revetment is remarkable. Also in evidence are many concrete bases for huts and man holes for a sewer system, which local dog walkers told me was the American camp area which apparently also included a cinema! The condition of the earthwork remains matches the best I have found in Suffolk so far, which is why I was keen to visit the area, to get as many details and measurements as possible of WW2 earthworks.
Top photo: Part of a twin dugout linked by a trench which would no doubt have been covered. The entrance is clearly visible. The roof would have most likely have consisted of timber supports to corrugated sheets with earth and perhaps rubble to act as a shell buster. The dugout(s) have a number of weapons-slits on one side; in this respect it's similar to the one on Minsmere Dunes although the dugout itself is far more substantial.
Middle top: Entrances to underground dugouts, presumably ammunition storage (TG460 003).
Middle bottom: Inside of dugout - note angle iron supports and wire netting revetment.
Bottom: sketch of plan of twin-dugout with weapons-slits with, insert a plan of one of the four gun pits which has slit trenches nearby (presumably as shelter for the gun crew in case of aerial attack although the slits are far nearer the gun position than recommended by the field engineering manuals).