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Author Topic: Bekesbourne Aerodrome dragons teeth  (Read 19940 times)

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Offline kyn

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Re: Bekesbourne Aerodrome dragons teeth
« Reply #34 on: April 17, 2016, 22:41:48 »























Offline Ron Stilwell

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Re: Bekesbourne Aerodrome dragons teeth
« Reply #33 on: March 26, 2014, 00:16:57 »
There were railway wheels still attached to about half it's axle and used in road blocks.  These were quite good at remaining intact under fire, but some of them failed under test when the tank weight pushed the axle into the ground, however they tested well on good hard road surfaces.
The bent rail obstacle was a bit more common and was helped by connecting them with wire hawsers making them more difficult to extract or to move when the tank tried to cross.

Offline alysloper

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Re: Bekesbourne Aerodrome dragons teeth
« Reply #32 on: December 26, 2011, 23:27:41 »
I believe that the square shaped patches in the road are indeed the remains of the sockets for the anti-tank obstacles which took the form of bent rails which were slotted in. I recall seeing a bit of bent railway line near the bridge?

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Ian

Offline cptpies

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Re: Bekesbourne Aerodrome dragons teeth
« Reply #31 on: December 26, 2011, 15:39:40 »
I've never heard of the use of railway axles before. But there are a few other roadblock types which used sections of rail, most notably Horizontal rails which were slotted into large blocks on either sides of roads or railway lines, and the more common Vertical rails which were placed into road sockets when needed. I think that is what is possibly pictured above. Hairpins are a rarer form of roadblock which used rails that had been bent or welded into an asymmetric V shape with a vertical facing the enemy and placed into a socket and the back leg sloping down to the ground away from the enemy. Often anti tank mines were placed in sockets along with the rail sections.

All the various obstacles are described in my post in the glossary thread in the general military forum.
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Offline JohnG

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Re: Bekesbourne Aerodrome dragons teeth
« Reply #30 on: December 26, 2011, 13:45:21 »
Another anti-tank obsticle used were cut in half railway axles, so you would have one wheel and hallf an axle. I have never seen any of these and would imagine that they were cleared up quickley for their scrap value.

Offline JohnG

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Re: Bekesbourne Aerodrome dragons teeth
« Reply #29 on: December 26, 2011, 13:35:17 »
cptpies. What about anti-tank walls and anti-tank ditches?
LenP. The photos are good, pleased to see the measurements match the details I gave earlier.

Offline LenP

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Re: Bekesbourne Aerodrome dragons teeth
« Reply #28 on: December 24, 2011, 23:57:58 »
I went to have a look at the ones mentioned by JohnG in Palmstead Wood. Also pretty impressive! Located at the top of the railway cutting next to the bridge are 40 tetrahedrons in rows of three along with one pimple. Two pimples are present on the other side of the track which crosses the line at this point. They are rather moss encrusted and ivy grown but still stand out well.
Looking North:


Looking South:


A few are numbered but the moss obscures most of them. I could see A13 and N4 but that was about it. However the one nearest the track has this inscribed in it:


As for size, the one I measured has a base of 5'6" and a visible vertical face of 4'10". i.e. without digging down. They have probably settled a bit over the years.



A handy comparison of the relative sizes of pimple and tetrahedron.


Lastly, the bridge looks like it has been resurfaced at some point but in the middle is this interesting square infill. A mining chamber perhaps? Photo looking East.



Offline unfairytale

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Re: Bekesbourne Aerodrome dragons teeth
« Reply #27 on: December 24, 2011, 23:09:07 »
5'...I'm sure they're not that high, I thought they were about 3'. I'll have to check my photos though.
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Offline cptpies

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Re: Bekesbourne Aerodrome dragons teeth
« Reply #26 on: December 24, 2011, 22:25:41 »
The measurements are are an average, there's a large variation in size across the country, probably due to the varying amounts of raw material available.
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Offline LenP

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Re: Bekesbourne Aerodrome dragons teeth
« Reply #25 on: December 24, 2011, 22:12:44 »
Except.... the tetrahedrons we are discussing at Bekesbourne are 5' high!

Offline cptpies

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Re: Bekesbourne Aerodrome dragons teeth
« Reply #24 on: December 24, 2011, 12:50:26 »
Rail lines were often used as parts of stop lines because for significant parts of their length they were natural obstacles in the form of embankments or cuttings, obstacles were used to fill in the sections between thus reducing the amount of effort required to form a continuous obstacle.

To clear up the naming conventions regarding obstacle types:

Pimple:        Pyramidal structure usually with a truncated top. 2 - 3 ft high.
Tetrahedra:  Triangular based and sided. 2 - 3 ft high.
Cone:           Flat based conical structure with a truncated top. 2-3ft high.
Cylinder:      Immovable type consists of a concrete sewer pipe upended and filled with concrete sometimes with a conical or rounded top. 5-6ft high. Mobile type is a cylindrical block ussually with a hole through the middle to allow rolling with the aid of a metal pipe. 2-3ft high.
Buoy:           Similar to a cone but with a rounded base to allow rolling into position.
Block or cube: Cuboid structure normally 5-6ft but can be smaller.
Coffin:          Triangular front face with flat sides sloping back into the ground.
Post:            Permanently emplaced concrete post or section of rail
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Offline chasg

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Re: Bekesbourne Aerodrome dragons teeth
« Reply #23 on: December 24, 2011, 12:34:25 »
"Impede enemy movement" does, indeed, mean "stop vehicles" especially tracked. And, for a tank, a railway line is as good a way into a town as any other. Hence anti-tank blocks beside a railway line to impede access to it or exit from it.

darrenh

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Re: Bekesbourne Aerodrome dragons teeth
« Reply #22 on: December 24, 2011, 12:01:36 »
so geometry debate asside.

for the less initiated, in respect of the tetrahedra what does "impede enemy movement" mean, if not to prevent self propelled vehicles?   

why would they line a railway track  (genuine question, not dissagreeing)

Offline chasg

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Re: Bekesbourne Aerodrome dragons teeth
« Reply #21 on: December 23, 2011, 23:33:45 »
Just post WW2 aerial photos show many more tetrahedrons beside the railway track in the Kearsney/Temple Ewell area just NW of Dover, too.

Offline JohnG

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Re: Bekesbourne Aerodrome dragons teeth
« Reply #20 on: December 23, 2011, 17:42:57 »
I think you chaps have sorted out the difference between tetrahedrons and dragons teeth (or pimples).  The smaller cone shaped ones with the round bottoms are anti-tank buoys are were portable.  There are many buoys to be seen around Kent and some groups are still where they were put during the war ready to be used as a raod block.

 

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