By Bernard Lowry
In the summertime of 1940, Britain requested itself now not 'will Hitler invade?' yet 'when?' SEALION, the German invasion plan, provoked the development of pillboxes, coastal defences, heavy-gun emplacements and anti-aircraft batteries, in addition to the formation of the house protect and covert teams. Later, new hazards changed SEALION: radar detection platforms have been accelerated throughout the Blitz years, as have been intelligence-gathering platforms and listening posts. From 1944, Britain was once back confronted with a dangerous hazard, Hitler's 'Vengeance weapons'. This name presents a concise overview of Britain's shielding platforms, and provides a vibrant photograph of battle at the domestic entrance.
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Additional resources for British Home Defences 1940-45 (Fortress, Volume 20)
The farming community, whose eldest sons were in a reserved occupation, provided perhaps the largest pool of volunteers. One farmer’s son, Geoffrey Morgan-Jones from Herefordshire, was told that their job was to be ‘a bloody nuisance to Jerry’. Others such as senior scouts and gamekeepers were picked, and even known poachers were considered. The Patrol sergeants were local, respected men and each county was under the control of an Intelligence Officer. qxd 6/3/09 08:53 Page 41 best known of these was Peter Fleming, brother of the novelist Ian Fleming, who established patrols in Kent in 1940.
Lakes, rivers and reservoirs were also attended to: in 1940, Luftwaffe seaplanes had used them as convenient points from which to off-load troops in the seizure of Rotterdam’s bridges. Anti-aircraft weaponry The devastating, pinpoint attacks by the Junkers Ju 87 Stuka in the campaigns in western Europe in 1940 had brought home the need for the defence of vulnerable sites, such as wireless or power stations, by light anti-aircraft (LAA) weapons. Britain did not possess an adequate number of LAA guns before the war: attempts to purchase Breda 20mm guns from Italy came to nought in 1940 when Italy entered the war on Germany’s side.
Others would come from the Commonwealth and Dominions, the US and Eire. qxd 6/3/09 08:53 Page 49 had invasion taken place. A massive contribution was made by Polish and also Czech pilots during the Battle of Britain. In 1940 and 1941 Polish troops played a vital part in the construction and guarding of the anti-invasion defences of eastern Scotland. The contributions of the men and women from Norway, Belgium, Holland, Denmark, Yugoslavia and Greece were significant, too. The arrival of US forces from 1942 onwards marked a turning point in the war and the recognition that Britain’s darkest days were coming to a close.