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Friday, 11 September 2020

Outer Bristol Defence Position (Stop Line Green) - Dulcote area

Completely new territory for me today, a brief visit to some pillboxes on the Outer Bristol Defence Position (Stop Line Green). The Position ran from Highbridge in the south, in a ring approx. 20 miles from Bristol to a point on the River Severn six miles south of Gloucester in the north. Dulcote lies in the sector from Upper Godney to Dinder, where the anti-tank obstacle was the River Sheppey stream which was only a partial obstacle and needed improvement and an artificial obstacle in places. Much of the Position was enclosed, including the Dulcote area, and would have been expensive in troops to hold. In fact, it was calculated that 16 divisions would be required to hold the whole Position, and that serious attacks could not be repelled for any length of time. 

Above; some of the artificial anti-tank obstacles - anti-tank cubes on Constitution Hill, not in their original position and sockets for anti-tank rails blocking the track up to Dinder Wood. Their was also an anti-tank ditch which has been infilled.

The Position was in effect a last ditch position, and was intended to keep Bristol Port open just long enough for potential evacuations. There are two main types of pillbox on the Position - bullet proof Type 26 Square pillboxes and shell proof Type 24 pillboxes. There are no pillboxes on the Position built to house anti-tank guns; one can only assume that at the time it was calculated if the Germans got this far, they would have all been lost in action. The two pillboxes visited today are Type 24's, constructed using red brick shuttering.

Above: Type 24 pillbox on the heights of Constitution Hill, overlooking Glastonbury Tor. Inside is a standard Bren embrasure with a small table to support the tripod.

Above: the second pillbox visited today.

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