Tuesday, 9 October 2007

Perfect peace

Weybourne mill with WWII beach defence in the foreground

Weybourne beach was an place in Norfolk that I'd never visited, even though I'd passed the road entrance many times before. The beach is typical of the Norfolk coast - secluded, quiet and peaceful. The perfect place to escape the modern world.

One rather interesting feature of the coast are the wartime pillboxes that stretch along the entire coast. To the casual viewer they seem to be placed at random but they were built as part of a sophisticated layered system of defence to protect the Norfolk coast from an invasion from Germany. Pillboxes were also constructed at various strategic points inland (i.e road junctions and bridges) to try and slow the advance of the enemy troops.

Norfolk was the nearest part of the UK to Nazi Germany and it was thought, until the invasion of France, that a German invasion of Britain come via Germany. Norfolk had the flat beaches ideal for amphibious landings and later those beaches would be used by the allies to practice for D-Day.

Fortunately the invasion never came but the pillboxes remain a potent reminder of the Nazi threat that Britain faced in 1940.

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