Saturday, 17 April 2021

Hotchkiss Willys M201 Jeep; Drive to some WW2 anti invasion defences...



I took friend Spider out for a drive in the Jeep to show him some good examples of WW2 Anti invasion defences that would have been deployed by the local Home Guard.
The Home Guard get this image due to tv like Dads Army of a load of old boys and young men Reserved Occupations in essential work running farms or skilled labour etc of having a bit of a carry on etc, but reality was these WW1 veterans and youngsters were the last line of the defence of Britain had it been invaded,  there was as I have already wrote the stay behind Aux Units , no one knew about them in 1940.
With little equipment except brick and concrete there was various ways of constructions to slow invaders that if they had landed on the East Lothian coastline would have pushed inland and towards Edinburgh to capture the deep Port of Leith to land heavy fire power. When it started to look more likely Scotland would be invaded than the south of England due to the smaller population of Scotland and longer time to mobilise troops a massive defence line named the Coastal Crust of anti invasion defences were rapidly built, a lot you can see today on the blog with hundreds of Anti Tank blocks etc...


Less visible to most folk inland was a second line of defences that were pretty nasty, fuel contained at strategic point that when flooded across a road and ignited would starve an approaching convoy of air and the stopped vehicles would be sitting ducks. The Flamefougasse site would have been seriously dangerous to operating and terrifying on both sides. Never needed and used many were knocked down, some simply left as two are locally. 

This on is on the hill at Danskine south of Gifford...



And a better example is nearby at Carfrae on the steep hairpin bend...


In summertime with leaves on the trees it would be invisible to an approaching convoy until it was too late... 


The pipe would have had a valve being the wall and the liquid was most likely a mixture if petrol and diesel fuel...

You can see here it would have made for the perfect ambush...


Two good examples of WW2 Home Guard anti invasion defences, Here is a wee film I made of the drive,

Song is `If War Should Come (Tape Op Remix)` by Public Service Broadcasting


More soon...

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