Hidden Histories: episode five
Deanna Groom and Medwyn Parry of the Royal Commission seek out the evidence for how Wales would have fought back against a Nazi invasion from the sea during World War Two.
The mountainous terrain of north Wales the mountain passes were defended by pillboxes, tank traps, spigot mortars, petroleum flame positions and roadblocks.
Defending against a potential invasion
As the Second World War began the government focused much of its attention on defending the south-east coast of England. However, there was also a danger of invasion from the Irish Republic. If the Nazis used Ireland as a staging point they would require port facilities for unloading troops and supplies. Their prime targets would be the deepwater harbours at Holyhead and Milford Haven. The approaches to the harbour at Holyhead were protected by coastal gun batteries, anti-aircraft guns and minefields.
Had the Nazis crossed the Menai, the mountainous terrain of north Wales the mountain passes were defended by pillboxes, tank traps, spigot mortars, petroleum flame positions and roadblocks. Many of these survive today and around two hundred pill boxes are listed in the Commission's online database, Coflein.
In June 1940, Cardiff became the first place in Wales to be attacked.