Kent Defences => General Defences => Topic started by: GCUsher on January 09, 2017, 12:03:21

Title: Minefield in Dungeness
Post by: GCUsher on January 09, 2017, 12:03:21
In Dungeness is the remains of a minefield.  I believe these were mushroom mines (and I have found a few rusty pieces of exploded mine there).  The minefield is a belt (around 100-150 metres long) of three lines of craters, running between the fence at the power station approach road, and the remains of the old school house (which is just by what was once the old railway sidings).  It's still visible on Google Earth if you squint.

I am struggling to understand why a minefield would only be a finite length 100-150 metres long, when, surely in WW2, to avoid it (assuming one knew where it started and finished), all one would have to do is walk around the sides of it to gain access to the Dungeness military restricted area.  Makes little sense to me.  There are a few (hard to find but at least I know where they are) craters on the other side of the wooded area from the minefield belt, but, assuming they are also exploded mines, it isn't 'joined up' with the major minefield belt, therefore seems to be equally useless.

Does anybody know what the minefield was supposed to be protecting, and why the minefield wasn't a complete unbroken belt around the entire Dungeness estate?
Title: Re: Minefield in Dungeness
Post by: grandarog on January 09, 2017, 14:25:55
It would appear the mine field was laid as a deterrent response to us being driven out of France. Obviously the threat of German invasion prompted the laying. Germans would not know how far the minefield stretched in each direction to skirt around it. The following link gives a lot of discussion.

http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=178886&start=720
Title: Re: Minefield in Dungeness
Post by: GCUsher on January 09, 2017, 22:19:36
That makes sense.   And it would explain the minefield's random nature.  Thank you.

I don't suppose there were any records anywhere of where and when particular minefields were laid and by whom and when?   (I would imagine such detailed information is lost in the sands of time).
Title: Re: Minefield in Dungeness
Post by: cptpies on January 18, 2017, 13:36:19
The original minefield map can be viewed on this Forum http://sussexhistoryforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=8255.0. Note the use of the word "proposed" on the legend which this suggests this a map of the planned defences rather than what actually was put in place so the two stretches of minefiled either side of the road may be all that was actually emplaced, there were shortages of mines at this time.
Title: Re: Minefield in Dungeness
Post by: GCUsher on January 23, 2017, 13:37:44
The original minefield map can be viewed on this Forum http://sussexhistoryforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=8255.0. Note the use of the word "proposed" on the legend which this suggests this a map of the planned defences rather than what actually was put in place so the two stretches of minefiled either side of the road may be all that was actually emplaced, there were shortages of mines at this time.

Thank you for that.  However, it seems that I can't access any of the links in that post (except for the link to Folkestone Herald).  All I encounter is the wording "There are [  ] attachment(s) in this post which you cannot view or download"

Any ideas how I can circumvent this or view the map you refer to?
Title: Re: Minefield in Dungeness
Post by: smiffy on January 23, 2017, 13:47:52
It may be that you have to join the site and then log in as a member before you can access these links.
Title: Re: Minefield in Dungeness
Post by: cptpies on February 01, 2017, 10:30:53
It was posted by Knouterer who is also a member of this forum, perhaps he will post it again here. I'm unsure of the copyright status of the images although his posting of them suggests they are public domain otherwise I would copy them and re-post them here. Simpler just to join that forum.
Title: Re: Minefield in Dungeness
Post by: kyn on April 27, 2017, 22:01:04
If the administrator of that site added them they are probably images from the National archives.  These can be copied and added here as I have a licence.
Title: Re: Minefield in Dungeness
Post by: Knouterer on May 08, 2017, 19:39:11
Hello - sorry for the late reply, I haven't been a regular visitor lately. Unfortunately, I was kicked off Sussexhistoryforum by a choleric administrator for expressing some doubt about the wisdom of Brexit in a discussion thread on that subject. I thought we were just having a friendly discussion, but apparently I underestimated the strength of his feelings on the subject. And his willingness to combine the roles of moderator and passionate partisan.

But be that as it may, here's the map, from the War Diary of the 8th Royal Fusiliers (WO 166/4533) who occupied the area in 1941:
Title: Re: Minefield in Dungeness
Post by: Knouterer on May 08, 2017, 19:52:42
And an aerial view of the same area from GoogleEarth, which is from 1944 or later I believe. As happened very often, the "mushrooms" in the minefield north of the Redoubt seem to have exploded:
Title: Re: Minefield in Dungeness
Post by: Knouterer on May 11, 2017, 20:24:07
A thread on the subject of the mushrooms:  http://sussexhistoryforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=1435.0
Title: Re: Minefield in Dungeness
Post by: GCUsher on June 28, 2017, 13:32:39
Hello - sorry for the late reply, I haven't been a regular visitor lately. Unfortunately, I was kicked off Sussexhistoryforum by a choleric administrator for expressing some doubt about the wisdom of Brexit in a discussion thread on that subject. I thought we were just having a friendly discussion, but apparently I underestimated the strength of his feelings on the subject. And his willingness to combine the roles of moderator and passionate partisan.

But be that as it may, here's the map, from the War Diary of the 8th Royal Fusiliers (WO 166/4533) who occupied the area in 1941:

Thank you so much for this.  This is just what I have been looking for.