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Author Topic: Fortified houses?  (Read 13286 times)

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Offline cliveh

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Re: Fortified houses?
« Reply #24 on: June 20, 2014, 09:34:09 »
The same former pub also has a Defensive Wall at the back almost overlooking the bridge and there's a Type 23 Pillbox on the opposite side of the river next to the old oil depot wharf. It was all part of the GHQ Defence Line.

Offline kyn

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Re: Fortified houses?
« Reply #23 on: June 20, 2014, 09:03:07 »
I think many village defences were designed to slow down the enemy, rather than give a prolonged attack. 

Offline peterchall

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Re: Fortified houses?
« Reply #22 on: June 20, 2014, 08:45:41 »
It seems to me that Aylesford High Street is an ideal choke point, easily blocked by a knocked out tank. So a short range anti-tank weapon in that house would be more suitable than a machine gun. There are lots of photos on Google showing the Blacker Bombard on several different mountings, including concrete block ones presumably like the one in the house.

However, I can’t imagine the house being fortified enough to put up a prolonged resistance, like a purpose built pill-box – apart from a tiled roof it doesn’t seem possible to provide overhead cover or thick enough walls.

So I wonder if it was intended as a ‘one shot’ location, to knock out a tank and then scarper? There was an easy escape route out of the back. The 1941 Home Guard Manual deals at length with ‘defence in depth’, so was this an outpost with other positions to fall-back on? Are there any other pill-boxes in the area?
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Offline cliveh

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Re: Fortified houses?
« Reply #21 on: June 19, 2014, 21:55:31 »
There is still some debate on the Pillbox Study Group as to what the mount inside was for. There's been no mention of a spigot mortar mount. It's been identified a gun mount of some kind but for what has not been verified. KHF member JohnG may be able to enlighten us more as I think he may also know something about it.

cliveh

Offline peterchall

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Re: Fortified houses?
« Reply #20 on: June 19, 2014, 21:39:13 »
Apologies Cliveh, but it's not apparent from your original post that the walls are concrete inside and that there is a gun mount. Anyway I did mention the possibility of it being sandbagged and was questioning its suitability for a Vickers gun, and whether the small windows were part off the system.

Is it not more likely that it was a Home Guard post than an army one, which makes it likely to have been the site of a Blacker Bombard anti-tank mortar, which would have been more suitable for the location than a Vickers machine gun with which, so far as I know, the HG were not issued?
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Offline cliveh

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Re: Fortified houses?
« Reply #19 on: June 19, 2014, 20:35:39 »
Sorry peterchall, but it's been positively identified as a fortified building with concrete walls and a gun mount inside and the owner still has the retaining bolts for the mount.

cliveh

Offline peterchall

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Re: Fortified houses?
« Reply #18 on: June 19, 2014, 17:16:36 »
It appears to be no more than a normal thickness brick wall in a very old building, which gives little protection against even small arms fire at the range involved - about 100 yards to the junction of High Street and Rochester Road - unless it had additional sandbag protection.

A feature of the Vickers machine gun was its ability to produce sustained fire over a long range, rather wasted in that location. If it was a defence post I would think it more likely to be a simple infantry section post with a Bren Gun.

The smaller windows have no field of fire at all, facing directly at a house on the opposite side of a lane.
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Offline conan

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Re: Fortified houses?
« Reply #17 on: June 19, 2014, 15:07:13 »
This one was shown on the Defence of Britain data base. It was originally thought that the large embrasure was for an anti tank gun but it now seems that this is way too high to accommodate one and the thinking is now that it was a site for a Vickers M/G 
 
 http://archaeologydataservice.ac.uk/archives/view/dob/ai_full_r.cfm?refno=11425

data base number SOO 11425
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Offline cliveh

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Re: Fortified houses?
« Reply #16 on: June 19, 2014, 13:49:53 »
Fortified pub out-building guarding the approach to the bridge at Aylesford

cliveh

Offline Signals99

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Re: Fortified houses?
« Reply #15 on: April 03, 2013, 13:17:41 »
Hi Bromptonboy, ref your observation about the Medway Towns being a nodal point of resistance. I offer this information as perhaps helpful?
As stated by me in a another thread, I once saw a collection of papers detailing a "hedge hog " hard point in the Rochester Maidstone Road, Vines, Star Hill area. It was held by the Watts charity's office at Maidstone Road, Rochester. As I recall it centred on the Fort Clarence guard house on Maidstone Road (long since demolished) it also showed anti tank points to be erected when the time came, I think one was the top of Queen Street.
I came by this information as I was building a low wall around a gun emplacement in the grounds of the Almshouses (marked as a spigot mortar/boys/rifle pit). I recall several private dwellings marked as "hold"points". It was a very long time ago and my memory is not so good.

Offline Alastair

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Re: Fortified houses?
« Reply #14 on: March 23, 2013, 13:02:48 »
The Beach House Hotel on Deal seafront was fortified with concrete as was the building at the beginning of the Beach in Walmer. The last surviving private house on the seaward side of Beach Street in Deal, Seagirt, had, I am told, an AA gun on it's seaward extension. Both the Hotel and Seagirt have long been demolished.

Alastair

Offline yeoman

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Re: Fortified houses?
« Reply #13 on: March 23, 2013, 11:04:32 »
Sevenoaks School's main building was fortified; it would have commanded the southern approach to the town.  The school history mentions sliding steel shutters fitted to lower windows, which would accommodate machine guns, trenches and wire, shoring up roof beams and plans for a hospital in the basement. 

Offline doug

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Re: Fortified houses?
« Reply #12 on: March 22, 2013, 16:50:50 »
Short answer. yes.

Offline conan

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Re: Fortified houses?
« Reply #11 on: March 22, 2013, 14:18:09 »
Doug, would this be what you saw. Taken from the Data base, unfortunately I can't give a picture credit as the shot was posted anonymously.

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Offline bromptonboy

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Re: Fortified houses?
« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2013, 09:28:44 »
The Medway Towns were a primary Nodal Point and had a large number of fortified points. The Chatham Garrison Plan to Defeat Invasion, details what they were and where. I would hope it is kept at the Medway Archives for public viewing?

 

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