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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Wednesday, 25 August 2010

East Yorkshire Coast

As promised, the first post on anti-invasion defences on the East Yorkshire Coast visited last week. First I thought I would describe the two most common types of pillbox to be found in this area. The first is a lozenge pillbox, the design unique to Northern Command and by far the most common pillbox to be found along this coast. It had 10 firing positions each with an 80 deg field of fire. Typically there were six rifle embrasures in total in  the 'long sides' (four in the side without the entrance and two in the side with the entrance) and a light MG embrasure in each of the short sides. The entrance was screened with a loopholed L shaped blast wall or porch. However this arrangement could be mixed, eg all 10 firing positions being rifle embrasures or lmg embrasures included in the 'long side'. 
The second type is known as the 'eared' pillbox, due to the arrangement of the blast wall resembling an ear, which screened two entrances. It would have housed two Vickers medium machine guns. This design is again unique to Northern Command and is only found between (just south of) Bridlington and Scarborourgh. Below each embrasure there is a recess on the interior,  which forms a buttress on the exterior. I have yet to find a definitive explanation for this but the most likely explanation is that the recess was to accommodate the tripod of the Vickers machine gun. There are variants of this design in the Scarborough area including one at Cayton Bay which includes three additional rifle embrasures and a single blast proch entrance instead of the twin 'eared' entrance.
Image 1: Short sides of the lozenge pillbox.
Image 2: Long side of lozenge pillbox.
Image 3: Interior of lozenge pillbox.
Image 4: Plan of lozenge pillbox.
Image 5: Artists sketch of lozenge pillbox as part of the defence of a road block.
Image 6 and 7: Standard 'eared' pillbox.
Image 8: Plan of 'eared' pillbox and variant (NOT TO SCALE).
Image 9: Interior of 'eared' pillbox.

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