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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Monday, 15 August 2011

Dunwich - two destroyed Pillboxes

Had a look at the remains of two pillboxes this weekend on Dingle Marshes, Dunwich. The remains are of two 'Suffolk Square' type pillboxes and in 1940 were the left hand boundary of 'B' Company, 2/4th South Lancashire Regt. Dunwich would have been a key locality to defend as here was an exit from the beach (along with Walberswick further to the north) that any German troops landing in the area would need to seize. To the north of Dunwich the low lying marshes had been flooded as an anti-tank obstacle and to the south Dunwich cliffs provided a natural anti-tank obstacle. The 'front line' at Dunwich in 1940 was defended by three sections of 'B' Coy with medium machine gun support from the 2nd Battalion Princess Louise's Kensington Regt.

The remains of the pillboxes would suggest they were sunk into the ground at almost embrasure level. They have been reinforced and the local resource, shingle, is clearly evident in their construction. I am not sure when they were destroyed - either it would have been post war clearance (however not likely given their location and they would not have been in the way of anything) or as part of training during the war. If it was part of training perhaps it was Assault Engineers from 79th Armoured Div again (they certainly blew up structures in the Westleton area which I've already blogged on) or perhaps as part of the new battle drill training for assault on pillboxes.

I could not find much evidence of any supporting earth works with the exception of one probable weapons-pit which, if it is,  was sited to cover the rear of the position.  Other remains in the area include the shell proof twin Vickers mg pillbox and some anti-tank cubes incorporated into the sea defences, which I have also blogged on previously.

Finally thanks to Suffolk Wildlife Trust for permission to visit the remains on their Dingle Marshes reserve.

Image 1: Fire plan, 'B' Coy, 2/4th South Lancs, Dunwich
Image 2: Field of fire of Bren Gun, section post in the vicinity of the two destroyed pillboxes
Image 2: Field of fire of Bren Gun, section  post to the west of the two destroyed pillboxes
Image 4: One of the destroyed pillboxes, the remains of the chamfered blast wall clearly visible.
Image 5: Photo show reinforcement used in the construction along with plenty of shingle
Image 6: Photo showing both destroyed pillboxes
Image 7: Probable weapons pit sited to cover the rear of the position

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