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GHQ Line

From Academic Kids

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A pillbox on the GHQ Line

The GHQ Line was a defence line built in the United Kingdom during World War II to contain an expected German invasion.

The British Army had abandoned most of its equipment in France after the Dunkirk evacuation. It was therefore decided to build a static system of defensive lines around England, all designed to compartmentalise the country and delay the Germans long enough for more mobile forces to counter attack. Over 50 defensive lines were constructed around England, the GHQ Line being the longest and most important, designed to protect London and the industrial heart of England.

The GHQ Line ran from the northern end of the Taunton Stop Line near Highbridge in Somerset, along the River Brue and the Kennet and Avon Canal to Reading, around the south of London south of Guildford and Aldershot, to Canvey Island and Great Chesterford in Essex, before heading north to end in Yorkshire.

On the section of the line in Essex, between Great Chesterford and Canvey Island the defences were made up of around 400 concrete "pillboxes", anti-tank obstacles, trenches and minefields which took advantage of natural and man made features. Over 100 pillboxes can still be seen on this section (2003).

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