Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Inspecting the beach defences ...

General Robert Odd, commander of Southern Army Group, inspects the beach defences north of Freazingham by the Sea. He is being shown around by the officer in charge of this section of the coast ....

the main defensive trench ...
 and the gun emplacement ....
General Odd, after leaving had much on his mind - there was still a lot of work required on the beach defences - barbed wire, tank traps, mines etc - he got out his notebook and made some notes as his staff car bumped along the coast road.

Monday, 6 March 2017

getting ready ...

at an airfield near Salisbury ground crew are busy...
Pilot Archie Fellowes chats with his commanding officer as his spitfire is made ready for his next photo reconaissance mission ...

Friday, 17 February 2017

Hello Mrs Robinson

A Quiet evening on the South Coast. All eyes are seaward, waiting for the invader, but life goes on pretty much as normal.
The black marketeers still meet behind the back of the local constabulary, but tonights business is something different.
Messrs Smith and Robinson have arranged a meeting to gain assistance in rescuing Mrs Robinson.
They have little success, the already heightened security is making life difficult for them and it takes some persuasive talking and a large bundle of crisp fivers to get any co-operation, and that is limited to causing a diversion.
They take up position to the rear of the village hall where the prisoner is being kept, only a single Home Guard Sentry is visible and Smith draws his revolver.
Robinson checks the window, it is barred but the only occupant is Mrs Robinson, Miming to her to keep quiet but be ready he joins Smith in waiting for the diversion to begin.
It doesn't take minutes before wardens whistles blow and angry shouts of :Turn that light out"echo down the High Street.
Robinson  hopes that this will cover any noise he makes breaking the window catch, The catch breaks easily but the bars behind are a different matter, it takes the two of them several minutes to remove them. The sentry comes to investigate,as Mrs R clambers through the window.
A single shot rings out and he drops wounded, but the damage has been done and the rest of the Home Guard pour from the main body of the Hall.
 The German spies make a hasty getaway towards the Church where they have a vehicle ready.
There is no sign of them, and one of the Home Guard asks the Scouts who have just emerged from the Scout hut if they have seen anything.
One of the scouts says that three people went up the line of the wall towards the church.He mentions that the lady called him Benjamin and said that he looked good in his uniform.

As they pursue their foe, the Home Guard, sees the verger arguing with 
shadowy figures in the churchyard and they hurry forward. In the distance the German spies can be seen entering the outskirts of Twenty Acre Wood.
For now the enemy has escaped, but Captain Fitzhugh of the local Home Guard rushes back to HQ and the alarm is raised.

Road blocks will be set up on all roads in the area and all Defence units will be on full alert.

---oXo---

Their cover is blown and the trio must make their escape from the area, stopping briefly to collect Mrs Robinson suitcase from the woods where she hid it earlier, they hurry to the vehicle and move off.

In the cab of the van, the spies discuss their options, and decide to make their way to Salisbury and
set up a new base where they can watch for reinforcements moving South.

Opening her suitcase, and removing a Riding whip, Thigh length leather boots, various lacy items of underwear and a collection of woggles. Mrs R accesses the hidden radio and reports the situation to Abwehr headquarters, 
She explains that the items are designed to distract anybody from searching her luggage thoroughly.

Saturday, 11 February 2017

A new arrival ...

Mrs Robinson (aka Rosa Muhlfeld) a german spy has left France for England ...

The flight had been a bumpy one, going across the channel with a night bombing raid. The Storsch had peeled off the main formation and flown in low towards the landing spot ....
 the Storsch landed and Mrs Robinson jumped out and made for the barn, as she got there she could hear the plane taking off .....

 ---oXo---

After spending a uncomfortable night in the barn, she got changed and buried her old clothes. She would take the same route as Mr Robinson had - walking down to the main road and then catch the bus to Freazingham. Off she went making good time ...
 As she neared Saltley Littleton where she would catch the bus, a Home Guard patrol stopped her, after checking her papers they were suspicious, and decided to detain her at the village hall..

on the way to the village hall a black marketeer who new Mr Robinson had overheard her giving them her name ... he had then sent his son to Freazingham on his motorbike to take a message to Mr Robinson .......
 
a few minutes later the home guard escorting Mrs Robinson arrived at the village hall ...
where she was locked in a small room. The home guard rang regional HQ saying they had detained a woman and asked for assistance ....

Friday, 10 February 2017

A Sunday stroll

Messrs Smith and Robinson continue to explore the defences of the area. their stated occupation as commercial travellers standing them in good stead amongst the increasing security.
 They have an appointment on the Monday morning with a Miss Partridge of The Ladies Emporium in the small fishing village of Littletown, and decide to travel over on the Sunday, attend the church service and use the time to study the town.
The two men arrive on the local bus, meeting none of the increased security measures that have dogged them recently.
    The service they find a test of their patience and their bladders and when they follow the verger from the church, take the opportunity to turn right out of the town.
At the edge of town they observe farm carts placed ready to block the road, its approaches covered by a sandbagged slit trench.
  Moving off the road and into the woods to obey the call of nature they pass haystacks, one of which is actually a disguised pillbox.
  Emerging from the woods they take the rough road leading to the headland, observing that the verges have seen the passage of heavily laden vehicles.
  Unexpectedly they come across a manned guard post and are asked at gunpoint to show their papers and explain their presence.
  Sweat breaks out on their foreheads, is this it?
Fortunately their papers pass inspection and their excuse accepted with a smile.

They turn back and stroll along the quayside, observing the state of the tide, depth of water and suitability as a port to unload supplies once the invasion has started.
The defences seem poor, Anti glider poles in the meadows behind the town, a few pillboxes, plenty of sandbagged positions, but little wire, no sign of minefields and few Anti tank obstacles.
The harbour can obviously handle barge traffic though there seems to be no mechanical means of loading or unloading.
Their studies are interrupted by the approach of a policeman,
Nerves tighten.
Palms sweating, mouths dry, they turn and enter the pub opposite , exchanging a cheerful good evening with the constable.
As they emerge from the pub they pass the police station where a captured airman is being escorted to a military car, grateful that it is not they, for a firing squad awaits if they are caught.
A quick glance up the northern road shows strong police activity, so deciding that discretion is the better course the pair continue along the quayside.
Entry to the jetty is blocked by yet another sentry and the pair retire to their hotel for the night.
A reasonably successful visit, there were only three areas that they failed to recce,and tomorrow they would take the bus north and see what lays behind the low range of hills.

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

On a new mission ....

Smith and Robinson (german spies) met up in the churchyard and discussed their next mission, to get down by the coast if possible to check on the sea defences. As usual they would use their cover of travelling salesmen.
 They wandered down the road ...
 and caught the local bus ....
and were soon on their way .....

[new items: churchyard gravestones  - some Hornby ones and some from 1/48 Petite Properties range on simple cardboard bases]

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Waiting and watching.

A Quiet evening on the South Coast
 
Dusk is falling, and bored sentries patrol.
Gazing seaward, they see nothing, the setting sun glinting off the sea,dazzles.
Still they wait, looking forward to relief, and a few hours in the village pub.
Guns stand silent, waiting in case the invader comes.
And very quietly he does, his target a radar station built into an old ruin.
Silence this and the invasion fleet can sail, secure from ground radar on this stretch of the coast.
The patrolling sentries are silenced before they become aware of anything amiss.
The demolition party move up to the tower, whilst the larger part of the force moves to deal with the guards barracks in the old church hall.
As they move to surround the hall they are spotted and a shot rings out.
No time for subtlety now, one of the kreigsmarine raiders moves to the window and throws in a grenade.
Whilst shots are exchanged with the alarm giver.
As the grenade explodes killing and injuring the men inside, a soldier appears at the top of the tower.
He shoots rapidly and two of the demolition party go down.
More british troops are coming from the village, a stiff firefight develops, as the demolition party struggle to gain access.
The pressure builds on the holding party.
The warning whistle is sounded, prepare to withdraw.
Still the demolition party are unable to break in, and a third man goes down to the scots in the tower.
As the withdrawal signal is given the remaining member of the demolition team succeeds in hurling a grenade onto the tower roof.
The defenders go down, but it is too late, and strongly pressed, the survivors withdraw to the beach.


Shots follow them as they leave the shore, hopefully they will avoid the attention of the Royal Navy
The Scots watch them disappear into the night. A job well done.