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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Thursday, 17 March 2011

Diver Battery T13 - Walberswick

Been away on sabbatical to Syria for the last four weeks so no work on the blog or websites recently! This post relates to mapping the surviving  camp area for this battery which I carried out in Jan but have not yet got round to posting. 
This battery was a HAA battery i.e. equipped with 4 X 3.7" Mk II C guns, AA No 3 Mk V radar and AA No 10 Predictor. The deployment of batteries to the Diver strip was a hurried affair and at first there was some difficulty in providing sufficient materials to construct the command posts, camp structures, generator and ammunition shelters etc. One AA Brigade diary notes that a target date of Dec 15th 1944 was set to complete winter quarters (Phase I) for the battery crews. It notes that approx 20 tradesmen from AA Command Construction and 80 unskilled men from light AA Regt's/Search Light Regt's were provided to construct each camp. This phase was completed by Dec 1944 although huts still needed wooden floors and interior decoration. In many cases the battery crew completed this work themselves in the hours of darkness.
Phase II, the provision of offices, stores, motor transport repair bays, guard rooms etc was set for completion by 15 Jan 1945. 
Electricity was to be provided by 30 KVA generators. In most cases water for camps could not be provided by water mains and had to be brought to site by cart. Central bath houses were under construction which would serve a number of battery sites.
Although T13 was not part of the AA Brigade from which the above comments of "Winterisation" of camps relate to, circumstances would undoubtedly have been the same for all Diver batteries in Suffolk.
The plan below shows the remaining concrete bases on which the nuts would have been constructed on for  T13's camp. Also remaining are some soak pits and a grease trap. Nearby are four large gun pits in line, which at first I thought would be for the four 3.7" guns. However I now believe this was not the case but this is for another post!
Image 1: Plan of remains of camp, Diver Battery T13
Image 2: Aerial photo of battery T13, 1945.
Image 3: One of the remaining concrete bases on which a hut would have been erected on.
Image 4: A grease trap - part of the sullage system
Image 5: That strange 'fencing again' - which I have posted about on previous posts on Diver batteries - note the steel rope also visible in this photo.
Image 6: View of the camp area (situated in the scrub behind the telegraph pole).
Image 7: 2" mortar round for an illumination flare found in the area.

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