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Thread: Portbury Anti-Aircraft site.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    September 2005

    Default Portbury Anti-Aircraft site.

    Hazards: Cattle sometimes in field.

    Status: Private land owned by a local farmer.

    Recommended? : Only if you're into ww2 stuff.

    Construction of the specially designed reinforced concrete emplacements
    to hold 3.7 inch and 4.5 inch guns began in 1938. These followed a number
    of standard patterns which developed throughout the war, but generally
    they were octagonal or square, about 40 feet across and comprised an open
    concreted enclosure with shoulder-high external walls. Around the inside there
    were ammunition alcoves where the shells would be stored on wooden racking.
    In the centre, the steel framework of the hold-fast, for anchoring the gun,
    was embedded in the concrete of the base. The emplacements were grouped
    in fours and eights, half batteries or full batteries.

    Armament varied from 3-inch guns to 3.7 inch, 4.5 inch, 40mm Bofors and the
    5.25 inch gun which could sling a shell eight miles into the air. The Portbury
    site was manned by the 237 Battery, 76th Heavy Anti Aircraft Regiment. As
    well as the 928 Balloon Squadron who flew 12 barrage balloons at the site.

    This anti aircraft site shot down a German Heinkel 111 on 25/09/1940, the
    aircraft crashed nearby at Racecourse Farm, the German crew all survived
    and were captured. On 22/02/1941 a He111 bomber was crippled by gunfire
    from a neighbouring anti aircraft site, the plane then struck a barrage balloon
    at the Portbury site and tore off a wing, the aircraft crashed into the mud
    flats at Portbury Wharf, only one of the five man crew survived and became
    a prisoner of war.


  3. #2
    Join Date
    September 2005
    Bristol, UK.

    Default Re: Portbury Anti-Aircraft site.

    Aaah, the Barrage Balloon Sqaudron explains the 'extras' at this HAA then.

    Shame about the pisspoor paint job by the local re-enactment bunch.

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