Further out to sea, Inchmickery, 1.6 miles (2.6 km) north of Edinburgh, was similarly fortified. On many of the more remote beaches this combination of wire and mines represented the full extent of the passive defences. Learn how and when to remove this template message, British hardened field defences of World War II, British anti-invasion preparations of World War II, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=GHQ_Line&oldid=944491515, Articles needing additional references from May 2015, All articles needing additional references, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 8 March 2020, at 04:46. When Pamela protested that she did not know how to use a gun, Churchill told her to use a kitchen butcher knife as "You can always take a Hun with you". Evans, 2004, the outcome is a major theme of this work, Evans gives emphasis to German logistical problems. And yet! [7] However, records show that the British possessed over 290 million rounds of .303 ammunition of various types on 7 June, rising to over 400 million in August. [11] It is significant that the British Government felt sufficiently confident in Britain's ability to repel an invasion (and in its tank production factories) that it sent 154 tanks (52 light, 52 cruiser and 50 infantry) to Egypt in mid August. Leeds - Liverpool Canal - Stop Line Number 14 In 1940, having retreated our troops from France, Britain feared invasion. "[146], The Battle of Britain had been won, and on 12 October 1940, unknown to the British, Hitler rescheduled Sea Lion for early 1941. The War Cabinet and the Chiefs of Staff Committee were not content to sit and wait for the Germans to make the first move; considerable efforts were to attack, by air and sea, the enemy shipping which had been assembled in occupied ports between The Hague and Cherbourg, starting in July 1940. Nodes were designated 'A', 'B' or 'C' depending upon how long they were expected to hold out. Although limited in range, they were reasonably effective.[101]. Fifty rifles were also issued to the London Fire Brigade, and Port of London Authority Police. [8] VII Corps also included a brigade, diverted from Egypt, from the 2nd New Zealand Expeditionary Force. On 19 July Brooke replaced Ironside. Inspired by a demonstration of petroleum warfare, one false rumour stated that the British had a new bomb: dropped from an aircraft, it caused a thin film of volatile liquid to spread over the surface of the water which it then ignited. Image of removable railblock buttresses on the Taunton Stop Line near Donyatt. Given the lack of equipment and properly trained men, Ironside had little choice but to adopt a strategy of static warfare, but it was soon perceived that this would not be sufficient. [93] He later recorded how he intended to use the slogan "You can always take one with you. Whether it be at a bus stop, at a shop, there is no comparison. p344, Anti-tank measures Sticky Bomb adoption and production –. 4 October: Second attempt at Operation Lucid, this time cancelled because of bad weather. It was purchased by the army in World War II to rip up aerodrome runways and railway lines, making them useless to the occupying forces, if an invasion took place. Shortly before the outbreak of the Second World War the Chain Home radar system began to be installed in the south of England, with three radar stations being operational by 1937. [145] German preparations would require at least a few weeks, but all defensive precautions were made with an extreme sense of urgency. On 7 December 1941, a Japanese carrier fleet launched a surprise air attack on the American fleet at Pearl Harbor; the United States entered the war on Britain's side. It was allocated premises at Electra House and was dubbed Department EH. In mid-1940, the principal concern of the Royal Air Force, together with elements of the Fleet Air Arm, was to contest the control of British airspace with the German Luftwaffe. [137] These attacks became known as the "Battle of the Barges". Again, suspicious looking parcels could be attached to strengthen the illusion. On 25 September 1939, the unit was mobilised to Woburn Abbey[123] where it joined a subversion team from MI6, known as Section D, and by July these teams became a part of the newly created Special Operations Executive (SOE). Hitler's invasions of Poland, Holland and Belgium were greatly helped by the fact that the civilian population was taken by surprise. The British Army had abandoned most of its equipment in France after the Dunkirk evacuation. Far more men volunteered than the government expected and by the end of June, there were nearly 1.5 million volunteers. The infantry divisions were, on average, at half strength, had only one-sixth of their normal artillery,[5] (over 600 medium guns, both 18/25 and 25 pounder, and 280 howitzers were available, with a further 100 25 pounders manufactured in June, over 300 4.5-inch howitzers – 900 were modified in 1940 alone – and some 60 pounder howitzers and their modified 4.5-inch version as well as antiquated examples of the 6-inch howitzer recovered from reserve after the loss of current models in France,[6] with several hundred additional 75-mm M1917 guns and their ammunition arriving from the US), and some sources state the British army was lacking in transport (just over 2,000 carriers were available, rising to over 3,000 by the end of July). World War II: Convoy PQ-17 Germany’s ill-fated invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941 gave England an unlikely and problematic ally. [140], After the evacuation of Dunkirk, people believed that the threatened invasion could come at almost any time. The first instruction given quite emphatically is that, unless ordered to evacuate, "THE ORDER IS 'STAY PUT' " [capitalisation as in original]. When Germany invaded the Soviet Union, on 22 June 1941, it came to be seen as unlikely that there would be any attempted landing as long as that conflict was undecided – from the British point of view at the time, the matter hung in the balance. Detailed inventories of anything useful were kept: vehicles, animals and basic tools, and lists were made of contact details for key personnel. IV Corps was based at Latimer House to the north of London and comprised 2nd Armoured, 42nd and 43rd Infantry divisions. This detailed the planned training for all officers in the use of pistols and revolvers, as it was decided that even though the police were non-combatant, they would provide armed guards at sites deemed a risk from enemy sabotage, and would assist the British Armed Forces in the event of an invasion. American broadcaster William Shirer recorded large numbers of burns victims in Berlin; though it is not clear what he personally saw, it seems likely his reports were influenced by rumours. At this time, Britain's factories were almost matching Germany's output in tanks and, by 1941, they would surpass them. When World War II began, the West had a good chance to defeat Hitler. There were many ideas for using petroleum on a larger scale and although many proved fruitless, some practical weapons were developed. For occasions where time did not permit the passing of cables and chains we had concrete cylinders the size of a 45 gallon oil or tar barrel ready to roll into a roadway or other gap. I have the horrid thought that he may still bring off some surprise on us. By then, the state of Britain's defences had much improved, with many more trained and equipped men becoming available and field fortifications reaching a high state of readiness. [62][63] In both cases, prepared sockets about 6 inches (152.40 mm) square were placed in the road, closed by covers when not in use, allowing traffic to pass normally. James, 2006, p. 39. Unlikely because Great Britain’s government was ardently anti-Communist, and problematical because of the vast distances involved in supplying aid under the protection of an already hard-pressed Royal Navy. This was dug into the roadside with a substantial overburden and camouflaged. [12], On 14 May 1940, Secretary of State for War Anthony Eden announced the creation of the Local Defence Volunteers (LDV) – later to become known as the Home Guard. Many more FW3s are still in place north of Chelmsford along the Chelmer Valley and towards Great Dunmow. VII Corps was formed to control the Home Forces' general reserve, and included the 1st Armoured Division. Each patrol was a self-contained cell, expected to be self-sufficient. [136] More important in 1940 for intelligence gathering were the mobile patrols of the GHQ Liaison Unit ('Phantom'), which were staffed by skilled linguists and equipped with powerful wireless sets for direct communication with GHQ. A few units were equipped with armoured cars, some of which were of standard design, but many were improvised locally from commercially available vehicles by the attachment of steel plates.[18]. One of the few resources not in short supply was petroleum oil; supplies intended for Europe were filling British storage facilities. True. In the county of Kent, 40% of the population was relocated; in East Anglia, the figure was 50%.[85]. When not in use, the sockets were filled with a wooden plug allowing traffic to pass normally.[65]. General Brooke, in an annotation to his published war diaries, stated that he "... had every intention of using sprayed mustard gas on the beaches". Wishlist. [31] There were also a few land-based torpedo batteries.[32]. [60][61] The second type comprised railway lines or RSJs bent or welded at around a 60° angle, known as hairpins. [35], Piers, ideal for landing troops, and situated in large numbers along the south coast of England, were disassembled, blocked or otherwise destroyed. [43], The primary purpose of the stop lines and the anti-tank islands that followed was to hold up the enemy, slowing progress and restricting the route of an attack. This was known as the Bison and consisted of a lorry with a concrete armoured cabin and a small concrete pillbox on the flat bed. It also maintained unique political ties to four of the five independent Dominions — Australia , Canada , South Africa , and New Zealand [note 1] —as co-members (with the UK) of the then " British … Further GHQ lines were constructed to … [151], Scholarly consideration of the likely outcome of invasion, including the 1974 Royal Military Academy Sandhurst war game,[152] agree that while German forces would have been able to land and gain a significant beachhead, intervention of the Royal Navy would have been decisive and, even with the most optimistic assumptions, the German army would not have penetrated further than GHQ Line and would have been defeated. [132], Auxiliary Units were a specially trained and secret organisation that would act as uniformed commandos to attack the flanks and rear of an enemy advance. In the following June and July, FW3 issued six basic designs for rifle and light machine gun pillboxes, designated Type 22 to Type 27. Further warnings were given not to believe rumours and not to spread them, to be distrustful of orders that might be faked and even to check that an officer giving orders really is British. [57] However, these would be insufficient to stop armoured vehicles. Yet the ordinary men and women of the civilian population will also have their part to play. Many piers were not repaired until the late 1940s or early 1950s. There was also a tetrahedral or caltrop-shaped obstacle, although it seems these were rare. 7 October: Third attempt at Lucid, cancelled when the destroyer carrying the force commander hit a mine and had to be towed home. Some are hilarious, some are rude and some are… interesting. It was hauled by a powerful Foden Trucks tractor, possibly via a pulley and cable system. Ironside has been criticised for having a siege mentality, but some consider this unfair, as he is believed to have understood the limits of the stop lines and never expected them to hold out indefinitely. 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