Kent Defences => Coastal Gun Batteries => Topic started by: JohnG on February 02, 2011, 17:05:37

Title: Greatstone`s WW2 Battery
Post by: JohnG on February 02, 2011, 17:05:37
There was a 2 x 6 inch gun Battery at Greatstone.  The guns were 2 x 6 inch Mk VII on naval mountings.  The battery was installed in October 1940 and put in to Care and Maintenance in November 1943.  No date of removal.
The War Grid is 519408.  Guns at 51874074 and 51874079.  This is Approx NGR TR 08192255.
The Battery number started as 415, later 333 and then 416.  Regiment 13 CA GP , then 551.
I have not been able to find any remains of this battery, could be under houses now.  No photographs.
JohnG
Title: Re: Greatstone`s WW2 Battery
Post by: JohnG on February 02, 2011, 18:21:08
Just to add to Greatstone`s Battery, I do have an aerial photo.

(http://i1028.photobucket.com/albums/y350/Williamfrederick20/GreatstonesBatteryAP03.jpg)
Greatstone`s Battery. Note all the AT blocks.
JohnG
Title: Re: Greatstone`s WW2 Battery
Post by: Philio81 on February 02, 2011, 22:57:12
Wow JohnG fantastic photo. where about in Greatstone was this?
Title: Re: Greatstone`s WW2 Battery
Post by: Far away on January 15, 2013, 12:32:20
On The Parade, just north of the junction with Baldwin Rd. Some of the present houses are on the AP, and the emplacements blocked their view completely.
Title: Re: Greatstone`s WW2 Battery
Post by: Knouterer on February 24, 2014, 09:25:37
Do you have more precise info on the date(s) of installation John? The War Diary of this battery is not in the National Archives (apparently), but from WD's of other units in the region I get the impression that it was operational by the beginning of October.   
Title: Re: Greatstone`s WW2 Battery
Post by: JohnG on February 24, 2014, 20:33:16
I am sorry I do not have any better dates.  As you say the Fort Record Book is missing.  Most of the Kent Fort Record Books are missing except for the Dover area.  I have some papers done by Brig. Raw, I will see if there is anything more in those.
Title: Re: Greatstone`s WW2 Battery
Post by: Knouterer on September 08, 2014, 18:43:42
I think we can safely assume that the Greatstone battery (415) was already there in September. Entry from the War Diary of the 7th Somerset Light Infantry (WO 166/4658), which was holding the Greatstone-Littlestone sector:
21.9: “All Coys concentrated on finishing the wiring and setting beach mines on the Sea Front. This was finished to Right Boundary. At 0930 hours an Exercise was held of 4 landing parties attempting to destroy the two six inch guns and testing A Coy defences and the No 6 Commando counterattack. The Divisional Commander attended.”
This entry cannot refer, I submit, to the St. Mary's Bay battery (358) because that was in the sector of the 6th SLI.
In any case, it would have been strange if the Siting Committee (as I believe it was called) had ordered the batteries at Hythe and SMB to be installed in June already, and had then further South left a gap in the gun coverage of this important and vulnerable coastal sector until October.
That said, the numbering of the Emergency Batteries remains a mystery to me - one would expect them to be numbered in batches as they were planned and constructed, but the no. 416 battery at Jury's Gut was in fact not ready until early October; as noted before.
Title: Re: Greatstone`s WW2 Battery
Post by: Knouterer on July 03, 2016, 21:26:49
With regard to the 400 series of batteries: according to Ian Lofting, author of a recent book on the British preparations to resist invasion (We Shall Fight Them), on 30 Aug the Chiefs of Staff decided that coast defence artillery needed to be strengthened between North Foreland and Dungeness, with Eastern Command being informed of this on 3 Sept. On 26 Sept 412 Bty (Mill Point, Folkestone) reported being in action by day (limited operational, probably without searchlights). On the following day 415 Bty declared the same and on 30 Sept so did 416 Bty (Jury's Gut). Source: WO 166/11, GHQ Coast Defence file.