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.
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.
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.
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.
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"...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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Hibbs, Peter Roadblock recce (26) - Stone Cross (2018) Available at: http://pillbox.org.uk/blog/216634/ Accessed: 20 February 2018
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