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Thread: WW2 Airfield anti-invasion glider obstacles

  1. #1

    Default WW2 Airfield anti-invasion glider obstacles

    Hi there,

    During WW2, many airfields were provided with anti-glider defences in a variety of forms, including posts, trenches and even abandoned vehicles. The idea was to deny areas of open ground within five miles of an airfield to German gliders. Many were removed as an inconvenience to agricultural operations once the invasion threat had passed. I know examples survive at the Sutton Hoo Anglo-Saxon burial ground in Suffolk (for which airfield?), but can you name any other surviving anti-glider defences?

    Thanks,

    VP

  2. #2

    Default Re: WW2 Airfield anti-invasion glider obstacles

    Where abouts are they at Sutton Hoo? And how obvios are they to find? I can go down there and photograph them sometime soon if its any help.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: WW2 Airfield anti-invasion glider obstacles

    Good subject to bring up VP. It might turn up some interesting and little-known information for everyone.

    Yes, I know this is anecdotal but I only did a quick search.

    The BBC People's War Article.Fourth paragraph down. Not much but it might add a little?

    Chris

  4. #4

    Default Re: WW2 Airfield anti-invasion glider obstacles

    Two glider ditches were excavated right through the Sutton Hoo Anglo-Saxon burial site in a SE - NW direction as part of a much larger campaign across large tracts of the Suffolk heathlands. I'm not sure how visible they are on the ground, but they show up well on aerial photographs. See: http://www.multimap.com/s/QNyVglJI

    Cheers

    VP

  5. #5
    OTBC Paul Francis's Avatar
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    Default Re: WW2 Airfield anti-invasion glider obstacles

    Quote Originally Posted by Vestanpants
    Two glider ditches were excavated right through the Sutton Hoo Anglo-Saxon burial site in a SE - NW direction as part of a much larger campaign across large tracts of the Suffolk heathlands. I'm not sure how visible they are on the ground, but they show up well on aerial photographs. See: http://www.multimap.com/s/QNyVglJI

    Cheers

    VP
    Written as only an archaeologist can write!!

  6. #6

    Default Re: WW2 Airfield anti-invasion glider obstacles

    Hey, notice how I brought in some prehistoric archaeology?! Always prothletizing! Seriously though, I'm constantly amazed at the number of prehistoric, Roman or medieval defences that were utilised for defence purposes during WW2. There was also quite a bit of excavation of archaeological remains in advance of airfield construction during the Expansion Period, although granted this tailed off during the war!

  7. #7
    Senior Member Richard Drew's Avatar
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    Default Re: WW2 Airfield anti-invasion glider obstacles

    As we are onto Roman remains and archaelogy, there was a very nasty battle between the Germans, who were sat on Mont Castre at Le Camp de Cesar, Le Haye-du-Puites and they were dug in all around the Roman earth ramparts. It took the Americans a very long time and too many casualties to throw them off.





    The hill is just to the east of La Haye du Puits and was one of the first battles in the Normandy breakout. Mont Castre is a small hill just over 300 ft above sea level. It was used by early man and was a fort in Roman times. In 56bc Caesarís army under Quintus Titurius Sabinus used this as a camp for his army of 18,000 men during his battle with the Gauls. In 1944 the Germans had dug themselves in on Hitlerís orders to stop the American advance to the south. They called it the Mahlmann Line and it was defended by an elite Regiment the 15th Regiment of the 5th Parachute Division. Cherbourg had already fallen to the Americans and they now turned their attention to a southern breakthrough. On July 3rd at 05:30 the attack began with three Infantry Divisions, from east to west they were 79th and 82nd Airborne, plus the 90th starting in a line from Port Bail to Pretot. The main assault on the hill was made by 1 battalion of the 358th and two battalions of the 359th, both from the 90th Division. By the evening of the 5th they had fought their way to the foot of Hill 122 but it took a further four days to drive the Germans from the hill. It took until July 12th to reach Plessis-Lastelle at enormous cost to both armies, over 5,000 casualties in the 90th Division. To put the battle into perspective, the 90th Division had 26% of all the causalities suffered by the Allied Armyís in all theatres of the war during that week. The 3rd Battalion of the 358th Regiment which started with 19 officers and 582 men lost 11 officers and 343 men in a single days fighting. It took a further five days fighting to reach the town of Periers just eight miles away. Today the site of Hill 122 is a nature reserve and also of interest is the ruined chateau and church, together with traces of the Roman camp. On the other side of the hill at Plessis-Lastelle is a ruined castle. Built by William the Conquer in 1047, this castle suffered damage during the battle for the hill, and has now been turned into a site of pilgrimage and has the journey of the Stations of the Cross leading to the summit.

    Richard

    www.atlantikwall.co.uk

  8. #8
    Senior Member Richard Drew's Avatar
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    Default Re: WW2 Airfield anti-invasion glider obstacles

    http://web.mac.com/davedepickere/World_ ... ision.html

    Another good read on the subject, I have seen the spot where Flowers tank was burnt out and to this day nothing grows there. When the corn is upto 6ft tall, there is a perfect clearing the size of a Sherman tank.

    Richard

  9. #9

    Default Re: WW2 Airfield anti-invasion glider obstacles

    Richard, a good definition of early man is an archaeologist with a hangover waiting for coffee to brew and head to clear. You cannot get more Neandertal than that!!

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