Lancashire At War.co.uk
Exploring the hidden history of War sites in Lancashire
Anti-Invasion Defences: anti-landing trenches near Ramsbottom
In the early years of the Second World War, when we feared an attepted invasion was bound to happen, Britain built various types of anti-invasion defences. The most obvious ones, Pillboxes, can be seen to this day. But others are harder to spot and this page records a few of these.
The belief at the time was that Germany would attack by a combination of air invasion and a sea assault. On most of the invasions up to that point, Germany had sent in troops immediately prior to a full scale invasion by parachute and gliders behind enemy lines. Therefore Britain tried to defend against this. Lancashire still has remnants of anti-glider trenches, anti-glider posts and roadside markers defaced to dissorientate enemy troops.
Elsewhere on this site we also have Barrage Balloon sites, anti-aircraft guns, pillboxes, anti-glider trenches and stop-lines. All were part of Lancashire's anti-invasion defences.
In Bury Archives, we found a map entitled "Deterrents: Map of Ramsbottom & Surrounding Area marked "Deterrents to Aircraft".
RIGHT: Two parts of the map reproduced by kind permission of Bury Archives.
The map shows numbered fields coloured pink (not sure what the other number is - probably a record of its size). Drawn onto the map in pencil are a series of lines to represent anti-landing trenches. They are at different angles and lengths, probably to maximise the individual field's size, shape and the lie of the land.
The question that is unanswered is - were these ditches ever dug?
Was this a map of existing ditches dug or a map of proposed ditches to be dug? The fields around Nuttall (Top map sample) is now a housing estate.
The bottom map sample, Harden Moor, shows no remnants of ditches on Google Earth today.