TM2831 : Landguard Fort from the estuary side

taken 3 years ago, 3 km from Harwich, Essex, Great Britain

Landguard Fort from the estuary side
Landguard Fort from the estuary side
WWII fortifications along the East Anglian coast
Along the East Anglian coastline, as elsewhere in the British Isles, a number of WWII coastal anti-invasion defences remain more or less intact. Between Felixstowe and The Wash, a large number of these were hastily constructed in 1940, necessitated by the imminent invasion by Nazi Germany (Operation Sealion). Out of an estimated 28,000 only just over 6,000 survive.
Many are hidden from view; others have now become part of the landscape, some put to other uses.
The defences take various forms, the most commonly seen is the pillbox, (sometimes called a blockhouse) these themselves come in many forms: usually having four, five or six facets. The most common being the hexagonal shape with a blast wall protecting the entrance. The embrasures differ too, from small to large and varying in number in each wall. Occasionally a narrow slit along the whole of the wall facing the invader is the only opening although these are usually observation posts. Other defences can also still be found, tank-traps, great square concrete blocks, and some pyramidal called dragon’s teeth were in the 1950s a common sight on the side of a strategic road. Most if not all these have been removed. The Royal Observer Corps had many installations too, some looking quite like pillboxes but with a completely different operational role.
Today they are nothing more than permanent monuments and a silent tribute to the courage and tenacity of the British people during the uncertainty of the early 1940s when Britain stood alone against Nazi Germany.
See also LinkExternal link and LinkExternal link
Landguard Fort, Felixstowe
Landguard Fort has been long established. The earliest part was built in 1540 when a few earthworks and blockhouse were erected to protect Harwich harbour. This was dismantled when James I of England ordered the construction of a square fort with bulwarks at each corner.
In 1667 the Dutch landed a force of 2000 men on Felixstowe beach and advanced on the fort, but were repulsed by Nathaniel Darrell and his garrison of 400 musketeers of the Duke of York & Albany's Maritime Regiment (the first English Marines) and 100 artillerymen with 54 cannon.
A new Fort battery was built in 1717, and a complete new fort on an adjoining site was started in 1745 to a pentagonal bastioned trace. New batteries were built in the 1750s and 1780, but the biggest change was in the 1870s where the interior barracks were rebuilt to a keep-like design. The estuary frontage was rebuilt with a new casemated battery covered by a very unusual caponier with a quarter sphere bomb proof nose. Several open bastions were enclosed, and a mock ravelin block constructed to house a submarine mining contingent.
During the Second World War, the Right Battery was used as one of the balloon launch sites of Operation Outward. This was a project to attack Germany by means of free-flying hydrogen balloons that carried incendiary devices or trailing steel wires (intended to damage power lines.) Between 1942 and 1944, many thousands of balloons were launched.
The 10inch gun pit in Left Battery was converted into an Anti-aircraft Operations Room for Harwich in 1939.
The fort was considered part of Harwich, Essex in the 18th and 19th centuries. Over the years the fort has undergone many stages of change and modernising. The fort is open during the summer months and there are excellent guides to show you around as well as recorded guides. The fort is owned by English Heritage and run by volunteers. (extracted and adapted from Wikipedia).
Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   © Copyright Adrian S Pye and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
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TM2831, 168 images   (more nearby )
Photographer
  (find more nearby)
Date Taken
Wednesday, 17 September, 2014   (more nearby)
Submitted
Wednesday, 17 September, 2014
Geographical Context
Coastal  Historic sites and artefacts  Docks, Harbours  Defence, Military  Estuary, Marine 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! TM 28340 31882 [1m precision]
WGS84: 51:56.3137N 1:19.2309E
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! TM 2828 3182
View Direction
Northeast (about 45 degrees)
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Image classification(about): Geograph
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