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Author Topic: Chatham Dockyard Bombing Decoy N12/CH1  (Read 2722 times)

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Chatham Dockyard Bombing Decoy N12/CH1
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2013, 00:17:29 »
Naval Bombing Decoy N12/CH1

A Second World War bombing decoy at Nore Marsh. It was built as part of the 'N-series' of naval decoys to deflect enemy bombing from Chatham Dockyard. The site functioned as both a 'Starfish' and 'QL' decoy. The 'Starfish' decoy operated by setting alight a series of controlled fires during an air raid to replicate a military or urban area targeted by bombs. The 'QL' decoy featured a grid of muted lights, often set around tanks of water or ponds, which would resemble a port during a blackout. The site is referenced as being in use between August 1941 and March 1942.

The remains of this Second World War naval bombing decoy site can be seen on aerial photos taken in 1946. This decoy comprised of seven separate areas across Nore Marsh identified by either the remaining structures or the enclosing banks or ditches that functioned as firebreaks. A variety of structures were developed for burning fuel on decoy sites. These included both small square basket fires and rectangular crib coal drip fires. Other apparatus consisted of small fuel tanks connected to long narrow containers where fuel was ignited. The general shape and size of the features seen on Nore Marsh are to some degree similar to these typical decoy structures. The most southerly group was centred on TQ 8114 6957 and consisted of seven rectangular structures circa 9.2m by 2.4m. Each of these was enclosed by a rectangular earthwork bank and these enclosures surrounded a small group of square structures. To the north are the remains of four similar enclosures centred on TQ 8124 7003, also arranged around small square structures. The central features are likely to be fuel tanks feeding the fires within the rectangular firebreaks. Approximately 200m to the north east is a group of six circular earthwork banks circa 12m in diameter, each with a central mound. These are centred on TQ 8124 6979. Towards the north west of Nore Marsh is a group of eight similar features centred on TQ 8095 6988. South of a line between these two is a group of structures including five long narrow rectangular features between 8m-9m long, centred on TQ 8109 6975. This is the only site on Nor Marsh that appears to have no earthworks. The most westerly of the groups that made up this decoy consisted of three oval ditches and surrounding banks each enclosing four structures or mounds. These enclosures are up to 20m across and are centred on TQ 8078 6968. Long narrow rectangular structures are situated around this group. The final group is to the north east, centred on TQ 8155 7010, and consisted of an irregular arrangement of curving earthwork banks enclosing a number of small square structures. Two buildings, possibly the control buildings, were also identified on the south western side of the island at TQ 8099 6942 (still visible in 2007) and TQ 8100 6942 (demolished). Aerial photos taken in 2007 show the earthworks survive for all six of the sites that possessed them. These appear to have been distorted by flooding but are still recognisable. These features were mapped from aerial photos as part of the English Heritage: Hoo Peninsula Landscape Project.
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