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Monument Number 1542577

Hob Uid: 1542577
Location :
Medway
Cooling
Grid Ref : TQ7575874257
Summary : A Second World War anti tank ditch was constructed during the summer of 1940 across the south western third of the Hoo Peninsula, from the north bank of the Medway near Hoo St Werburgh to the south bank of the Thames at Higham Creek. The ditch, 11.7 km long, was part of the system of GHQ Stop Lines designed to halt or delay the advance of a German invasion force landing in southern and south eastern England. In addition to forming a barrier between the marshland of the eastern Hoo Peninsula and the higher ground to the west, the Hoo anti tank ditch protected the Lodge Hill Ordnance Depot and the Chattenden Magazines, Chattenden Barracks and the military sites at Upnor. It also afforded some protection to establishments farther upstream at Chatham and beyond. The anti tank ditch was in place by November 1940, when it was shown on a German military map taken from aerial photographs. RAF aerial photographs taken in 1941 and 1942 cover the eastern and western ends of the ditch, which appear as open trenches. USAAF photographs taken in May 1944 show the eastern and central part of the feature which had been decommissioned and backfilled by that date. The Hoo stop line incorporated features such as woodland and quarries along the line of the anti tank ditch, and was reinforceded by numerous pillboxes, gun emplacements and road blocks. The ditch and many of the supporting defensive features have been mapped from aerial photographs as part of the English Heritage: Hoo Peninsula Landscape Project.Separate sections of the the Hoo Stop Line anti tank ditch have been recorded as Monuments 1542610, 1542630, 1542646, 1542665, 1542687, 1542694.
More information : Centred at TQ 7576 7426. A Second World War anti tank ditch was constructed during the summer of 1940 across the south western third of the Hoo Peninsula, from the north bank of the Medway near Hoo St Werburgh (TQ 7925 7169) to the south bank of the Thames at Higham Creek (TQ 7099 7577). The ditch was 11.7 km long in total, and was part of the system of GHQ Stop Lines designed to halt or delay the advance of a German invasion force landing in southern and south eastern England. In addition to forming a barrier between the marshland of the eastern Hoo Peninsula and the higher ground to the west, the Hoo anti tank ditch protected the Lodge Hill Ordnance Depot (Monument number 1077634) and the Chattenden Magazines (Monument number 1481790), Chattenden Barracks and the military sites at Upnor. It also afforded some protection to establishments farther upstream at Chatham and beyond. (1)

The anti tank ditch was in place by November 1940, when it was shown on a German military map taken from aerial photographs. RAF aerial photographs taken in 1941 and 1942 cover the eastern and western ends of the ditch, which appear as open trenches. USAAF photographs taken in May 1944 show the eastern and central part of the feature which had been decommissioned and backfilled by that date. (2-6)

The Hoo stop line incorporated features such as woodland and quarries along the line of the anti tank ditch, and was reinforceded by numerous pillboxes, gun emplacements and road blocks. The ditch and many of the supporting defensive features have been mapped from aerial photographs as part of the English Heritage: Hoo Peninsula Landscape Project. The ditch has been recorded in eight separate sections, each of which has been given its own Monument number. The many supporting features (pillboxes, gun emplacements and roadblocks) have also been recorded separately. (7)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Beaches, fields, streets and hills: the anti-invasion landscape of England, 1940
Source details : Foot, W.
Page(s) : 406
Figs. : 413
Plates :
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Source Number : 2
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR RAF26K/UK/1455 2047 14-MAR-1941
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Source Number : 3
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR RAF HLA/542 2066-7 18-MAY-1942
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Source Number : 4
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR RAF HLA/617 6-099 20-JUN-1942
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Source Number : 5
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR US/7GR/LOC348 2065 27-MAY-1944
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Source Number : 6
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR RAF/CPE/UK/1789 4036 11-OCT-1946
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Source Number : 7
Source : RCHME/EH/HE Aerial Photographers comment
Source details : Cathy Stoertz/13-JUL-2011/English Heritage: Hoo Peninsula Landscape Project
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Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : TQ 77 SE 192
External Cross Reference Notes :

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Relationship type :

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, ENGLISH HERITAGE: HOO PENINSULA LANDSCAPE PROJECT NMP
Activity type : AERIAL PHOTOGRAPH INTERPRETATION
Start Date : 2010-09-01
End Date : 2012-03-01