As the British Army's attention moved away from anti-invasion defence to preparations for engaging the enemy in foreign theatres of war (esp the build up to D Day) there was a need for ever increasing training and Suffolk became a major area for such training. Boyton Marshes played a part in this. Here an Armoured Fighting Vehicle (AFV) range was established, part of the Orford Battle Training area. Tanks would tack around a triangular track and live fire at targets - tank shaped targets that were towed along a narrow gauged track, controlled by large block houses, both the block house and track built into substantial earth banks as shielding. Two target tracks and sets of block houses were built to provide a variation in range. Smaller block houses controlled flip up targets for the tanks machine guns.
Today three of the block houses remain (although the earth banks are no longer present), all easily viewable from public rights of way but no close up access - but I had permission to visit two of them. Other remains include a destroyed concrete structure (no doubt the remains of another of the block houses), what would appear to be some of the remaining triangular track and two Romney Huts at the nearby farm yard.
The attached map (plotted from a war time aerial photo) shows a plan of the range, with surviving structures circled in blue (two of the large block houses controlling the tank targets, one blockhouse (and the destroyed remains of the second) that controlled the flip up mg targets, part of the track which tanks fired from and two Romney Huts.
Images 1-7: Large block house that controlled moving tank targets
Image 8: Destroyed smaller blockhouse, controlling flip-up machine gun targets
Images 9-12: Surviving smaller block house, controlling flip-up machine gun targets
Image 13: Second surviving large block house, controlling tank towed tank targets at a greater range
Image 14: Romney Hut
Image 15: Rear of Romney Hut in image 14 plus second Romney Hut in background (roof largely new)
Image 16: Part of surviving track that tanks tracked around