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29 October 2014
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Anti-tank Blocks
Lunan Water Defences
Britain in the spring and summer of 1940 resembled an armed camp. Everywhere fears of German attack were rife, and, although the bulk of defensive preparations went on the south of England, even in sleepy Lunan Bay the war was not far away.

Although the major fear was a cross channel invasion, the Allies had only recently lost the Battle of Norway, and there were significant German forces still positioned there. It was not inconceivable that the Nazis could launch raids on the Scottish mainland from Norwegian bases, or even worse, launch a two-pronged invasion of the country. That while the bulk of the British Army was engaged against cross-channel invaders, German forces could land on the weakly defended east coast of Scotland and sweep down.

This would not only cut Britain off from the major naval base in Orkney and several vital ports, but would have completely circumvented the British plans for defence. As such, the decision was taken to build up the defences on the east Coast. The Polish Army in Exile were given the job of defending eastern Scotland and took up their posts from the borders to the northern coasts.

Anti-tank Blocks
Anti-tank Blocks

Defences in this part of Scotland were rudimentary at best, and often the Poles spent their first weeks in Scotland in tents before more permanent barracks could be built. From then on they became a welcome sight to the locals, proving to be very popular guests until they left in 1944 for the reconquest of Western Europe.

Here at Lunan Bay, in the shadow of a castle built to withstand Viking invaders, lie higgledy piggledy modern defences built in 1940 by the Polish visitors in the form of huge concrete blocks. These blocks, resembling giant sugar cubes serve as anti-tank blocks, forming obstacles which would be too steep for German panzers to negotiate, or if they did mange to get on top of them, would expose the lightly-armoured bottom of the tank chassis to anti-tank weapons.


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