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Monday 5 July 2010

Eastern command Line - belated post

A belated post on a visit to the Eastern Command Line in the Sudbury area during May. Here, the anti-tank obstacle is the River Stour which is covered with numerous pillboxes along its length. Most are of a regular hexagon with a central open well with a mount for a light AA machine gun and a sunken entrance porch. One just to the south of Sudbury, near Great Cornard, has an extended separate blast wall instead of the sunken entrance. These are often incorrectly referred to as Type 27's, however the official DFW3/27 plan is a regular octagon. Research by Mike Osborne has shown that the examples found in Sudbury (as well as other parts of the Eastern Command Line and in Essex) are almost certainly a design by CRE Colchester - probably to plan CRE1113 which has both bullet and shell proof versions. The shell proof version have standard Bren gun embrasures, while the bullet proof ones have rifle embrasures which are reinforced with a metal plate. Remains of steel bars can be seen on some of the roofs, no doubt for draping some sort of camouflage over the open AA well.
More to come on this visit.
Photo 1: Shell Proof version
Photo 2: Interior of shell proof vrsion showing sunken entrance and Bren embrasures
photo 3: AA well in shell proof version
Photo 4: Bullet proof version
Photo 5: Interior of bullet proof version showing entrance to AA well and rifle embrasure
Photo 6: Metal plate reinforcing embrasure
Photo 7: Sunken entrance with porch, bullet proof version
Photo 8: AA well in bullet proof version with remains of metal rods, which presumably had a role in camouflage.

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