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  #1  
Old 04 Feb 13, 08:12
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British wartime structures in disrepair and negleted

Hi

The UK is rightly proud of its heritage and this can be seen by the numerous stately houses and castles that remain to be seen.

However the less glamourous architecture of WW2 in Britain is in a state of rapid decline and neglect. The numerous pill boxes and other such structures are rapidly falling foul to vandals and the march of nature and time. What will be left in say 100yrs is anyone's guess

he landscape around us has been shaped by successive generations, moulded to our needs be it for agricultural, economic or transport reasons. Yet within it there are traces of the past that surface from time to time, yet one past trace that I'm sure those of us who live in the British Isles have all seen are the coastal defences rapidly constructed during World War II.

There are some poignant pictures in this article:-
Quote:
The remains of a network of pillboxes and gun emplacements can be found at various coastal locations around the country and a short trip across the English Channel will ensure you come face to face with the Nazi Atlantic Wall that was there to stop the Allied forces returning to mainland Europe, something it failed to achieve.

These constructions may lack architectural glamour yet they are important parts of our recent history and do have a certain beauty, and a fascination for many especially as children.

Photographer Marc Wilson has been busily recording these structures before many of them are reduced to rubble or swept under the waves. His delicate pictures contrast with the rough construction and the planned use of each site where men hid, ready to kill the approaching enemy.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-21243179
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  #2  
Old 04 Feb 13, 09:33
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I quite like how they have been left to decay. :shrug:
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  #3  
Old 04 Feb 13, 09:38
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Things like Bletcheley Park in my opinion should be a world heritage site because without it, well lets just say the world owes what happened in there a great debt. Same with the few remaining Spits etc but I cant see there being the money nor the inclination apart from a few types to preserve pill boxes and there are a lot of them.....
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Old 04 Feb 13, 10:12
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Oh boy...look at the D-day beachs! That stuff is decaying fast thanks to the waves and sand. Those of the British will be the same before much longer too! Time and the elements affect everything.

Look at Hadrans Wall, it was impressive in its day too! Look at it now.

No offense, but its just the way things are...
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Old 04 Feb 13, 13:48
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No offense, but its just the way things are...
Agreed.
Bletchly Park should be preserved, and thank goodness for the Gladstone Forts group (but that's no WW2), but as for the rest; time makes fools of us all.

Those pillboxes are ugly anyway, your not going to get many folks interested in keeping them around unless they were actually used in a battle.

But... here's a thought; does any of this stuff have a conceivable use in the future? Disaster shelter, for instance, or a test-site for new weapons?
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Old 04 Feb 13, 14:03
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But... here's a thought; does any of this stuff have a conceivable use in the future? Disaster shelter, for instance, or a test-site for new weapons?
We had several pillboxes defending the lower cliffs of my hometown on the northeast coast. There was one much larger concrete structure (command/lookout post?) that was used, in my childhood days, by local cows as a shelter from the rain, so I guess it had a continued practical use.

We always regretted that though, as it would have been a great place in which to play repelling the Germans if it hadn't been a foot deep in cow ****.


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Old 04 Feb 13, 14:06
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Always sad to see structures slip away, no matter what their purpose was. They meant something to people once.
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Old 04 Feb 13, 20:24
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The only thing that will last is those big a** flak towers in Berlin and Vienna, and a few other areas. There massive, thick, concrete hides were a tough nut to crack! The British army/Russian army tried to get rid if them and gave up. The amount of explosives needed was just to great and the blast would have been HUGE!

Sorry for being a bit off topic...
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Old 04 Feb 13, 20:48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hetzer 15 View Post
The only thing that will last is those big a** flak towers in Berlin and Vienna, and a few other areas. There massive, thick, concrete hides were a tough nut to crack! The British army/Russian army tried to get rid if them and gave up. The amount of explosives needed was just to great and the blast would have been HUGE!

Sorry for being a bit off topic...
I don't see it as off topic at all. However, if it is, this is even more off topic.

This thread reminded me of a Jeremy Clarkson documentary a while back in which he was lamenting that the unique and massively constructed U Boat pens in Western France were left totally disregarded even though they could be of huge interest to visitors to the region. So I looked for the documentary. Couldn't find it, but it led me to this excellent Jeremy Clarkson documentary on the St. Nazaire Raid, so I'll post it here even though it may be off topic.



Philip
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Last edited by PhilipLaos; 04 Feb 13 at 21:01..
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  #10  
Old 04 Feb 13, 21:59
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When we were kids there were pillboxes and gunstands dotted about all over Sheffield, all but a couple that are in dense woodland have now been lost. Travelling through Lincolnshire to Skeggy in the early sixties you'd see a concrete blockhouse at most crossroads, all gone now... a bit sad really.

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Old 04 Feb 13, 22:02
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It's not all bad news though... we've visited RAF Metheringham many times in the last 25 years and seen it's Watch Office slowly fall down. There's now moves afoot to stop the rot and begin some restoration work, just in time!

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Old 04 Feb 13, 22:08
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilipLaos View Post
I don't see it as off topic at all. However, if it is, this is even more off topic.

This thread reminded me of a Jeremy Clarkson documentary a while back in which he was lamenting that the unique and massively constructed U Boat pens in Western France were left totally disregarded even though they could be of huge interest to visitors to the region. So I looked for the documentary. Couldn't find it, but it led me to this excellent Jeremy Clarkson documentary on the St. Nazaire Raid, so I'll post it here even though it may be off topic.



Philip
That raid you speak of involved the Cambeltown, cut up to resemble a German destoyer, and packed with depth charges, that sucker blew a heck of a hole in the docking doors, in fact, the raid did so much damage it was not until like 1965 or something that the place was back in full swing...talk about a wrecking crew!

U-Boat pens will also be around for a extended period of time 6-8-10 foort thick concrete reinforced steel, with earth layer in between for shock control...TODT did a good job!
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Old 04 Feb 13, 22:28
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Quote:
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TODT did a good job!
617 Squadron did theirs better...

420px-U-Boat_Pen_Grand_Slammed.jpg

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Old 05 Feb 13, 06:29
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617 Squadron did theirs better...

Attachment 52017

Tallboys?
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Old 05 Feb 13, 09:31
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Tallboys?
Grand Slam!!!
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