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Report - Hitler's Atlantic Wall in Surrey - March 2010

Discussion in 'Military Sites' started by professor frink, Mar 16, 2010.

  1. professor frink

    professor frink Pro Snorer Skiff
    Regular User

    Nov 1, 2009
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    Hitler's Atlantic Wall

    With most of the German troops fighting the Russians on the Eastern Front the Western Front was left vulnerable to invasion by the allied forces.
    Rommel firmly believed that Germany would inevitably be defeated unless the invasion could be stopped at the beach.
    On March 23rd 1942 Fuhrer Directive Number 40 called for the official creation of the Atlantic Wall, one of the last major defence lines of this century.
    It was built by the German occupation forces along the coasts of France, Channel Islands, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Norway and Denmark. The main goal was to prevent allied landings on the shores of these countries.

    If you want to know more click here for video.

    Hitler's Atlantic Wall in Surrey

    D-Day training sites were created in Britain in order to practice for Operation Overlord, the invasion of Northern France by allied forces in 1944.
    Based on intelligence and air reconnaissance, the British created a mock-up of Hitler’s wall, so they could practice attacking it and breaching the obstacles.
    In 1943, in an area of Hankley Common known as the Lion's Mouth, Canadian troops constructed a replica of a section of the Atlantic Wall.

    The wall is about 100 m long, 3m high by 3.5m wide. It was divided into two sections between which there were originally huge steel gates. Nearby are other obstacles such as dragon's teeth, huge reinforced concrete blocks and lengths of railway track set in concrete and wire entanglements. Much of the relics show clear signs of live weapons training and the main wall has two huge breaches caused by a variety of demolition devices including the Double Onion: a specialised demolition vehicle, one of Hobart's Funnies, based on the Churchill tank.


    Most of the obstacles were to be attacked with rockets hauling lengths of explosive filled tube and 'carpet laying devices' for the barbed wire. The modified Churchill tank, however, was designed to deal with the wall itself and the steel gates. It was equipped with a steel frame measuring some 10 feet wide by six feet. On this framework hung boxes containing 1000 lbs of explosive.

    The tank was driven towards the wall, the framework was lowered to the ground, then the tank was backed off to a distance of some 100 feet, paying out an electric detonating cable as it went. The explosives were then detonated by the driver and the resulting effect can still be seen in the remains of the wall to this day, each of the two gaps created measuring some 3.5m in width.

    The Churchill tank fitted with Double Onion

    1. The Atlantic wall.


    2. Conventional shells had little effect on the wall.




    5. Wall breach by the 'Double Onion'.

    6. Force of explosions caused damage to local houses.


    7. Secondary breach.




    9. Gateway.






    12. Defensive block before.


    13. and after.


    14. Secondary defensive wall.








    18. Defensive blocks


    19. Dragons teeth.





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