Beaches, Fields, Streets, and Hills
The anti-invasion landscapes of England, 1940
by William Foot with a foreword by Professor Richard Holmes
This book presents the results of a two-year project funded by English Heritage to examine the 1940/41 anti-invasion landscapes of England. Combining extensive documentary research with fieldwork, 67 defence areas were examined in detail, establishing the strategy and coherence of the original defence and analysing this in relation to the surviving structures. A particular emphasis has been placed on the differing landscapes in which the defence works were built, showing how in many cases the topography assisted the defence and how natural features were used to give strength and concealment to defence positions. Three major strategies are represented – those of coastal defence, inland stop line defence, and area defence.
The introduction provides an overview of the whole subject, and sets out the differing types of defence works, the various strategies of defence, and the resources available for study. Attention has been given to dispelling various misconceptions that are still prevalent concerning the nature of these defences and their purpose. The defence works are presented within their historic background, explaining, for example, why some defence works have survived while the great majority have been destroyed. The book identifies the need today not only for the preservation of individual examples but of complete landscapes of defence where different types of structures have survived in good condition and are publicly accessible.
An important component of the book are the maps which have been created to show the defence works for each of the 67 areas, using a system of symbols that was specially developed for the project.
Info: ISBN-13 978-1-1902771532; 658pp, 335 illustrations; £4 per article. This title is available for online purchase through our Archlib service. The easiest way is to search by Author or Title ‘RR144’. You can also browse our other publications, click on the CBA logo from Participating Publishers on the Archlib homepage.
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