Posted: 17 August 2009 19:53

Stone Cross was an important road junction and was therefore defended as a nodal point, with five roadblocks defining the perimeter.

Roadblock recce

Today the village is best known for its windmill which was used by the Canadians from 1941 as an artillery observation post for a battery of four 25-pounder guns dug in about half a mile to the north.

Roadblock recce


It was by the windmill that the first roadblock I was looking for was situated; we have cylinders, buoys, sockets and rails (3 straight and 4 hairpins) listed here.

I momentarily thought I'd struck gold with what appeared to be a buoy flanking a gatepost, but it was seemingly too small to have been part of a military roadblock.

Roadblock recce

Moving back towards the crossroads, I found this narrow lane blocked by a pair of modern bollards, replacements for the six rails and a pair of cylinders that were here in 1941.

Strangely, the Germans seem to have identified this small block from the air, but did not mark two blocks at nearby Blackness and a larger one along the Polegate road. Perhaps these others hadn't yet been constructed, as they should have been quite obvious from the air.

Roadblock recce


The Germans did, however, spot the roadblock just by this railway bridge. This was another socket and rail type, bolstered by five buoys and cylinders. The Germans have also identified a pillbox covering this block, but this has seemingly long gone.

Having finished at Stone Cross, I drove down the road to look for a pair of roadblocks on the "Maginot Line"...

- Pete

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Buoys

Small concrete roadblock obstacle comprising a truncated cone with domed base. A hollow shaft down the centre allowed the buoy to be manhandled using a crowbar. Buoys were deemed of little value by 1941 and cylinders seen as a better solution.


Cylinders

Reinforced concrete cylindrical obstacles with a shaft down the centre in which could be inserted a crowbar for manhandling, or a picket for barbed wire. Cylinders were 90cm high and 60cm wide and deployed in groups of three as a more effective alternative for buoys.


Nodal Point

Defended road junction(s), usually within a village/town with a Home Guard garrison intended to deny enemy use of the roads. Nodal Points were not to defend the village, but solely the road network. Category 'A' Nodal Points were to hold out for 7 days after invasion without outside assistance.


Pillbox

Generic term for a hardened field defensive structure usually constructed from concrete and/or masonry. Pillboxes were built in numerous types and variants depending on location and role.


Sockets

Concrete-lined shafts dug into road surfaces into which rails or RSJs (hairpin or straight) could be inserted to form a roadblock. When not in use, a wooden cover was placed over each socket.



This site is copyright © Peter Hibbs 2006 - 2017. All rights reserved.

Hibbs, Peter Roadblock recce (26) - Stone Cross (2017) Available at: http://pillbox.org.uk/blog/216634/ Accessed: 22 November 2017

The information on this website is intended solely to describe the ongoing research activity of The Defence of East Sussex Project; it is not comprehensive or properly presented. It is therefore NOT suitable as a basis for producing derivative works or surveys!