poole in the second world war
a brief history of what is still there to this day
About me 
I have always been interested in
history especially the second world
war. Whether it was the battle of
El Alamein or the battle of Kursk I
have always been interested. More
 recently I have become much more
 interested in what is in my local
area (south east Dorset and south
west Hampshire), and it could not
 be a better place for it. During the
second world war Poole, being on
the coast, was transformed into a
 anti-tank island, as well as
Wimborne, Wareham, Blandford,
Christchurch, Ringwood and
Fordingbridge. Also several major
stop lines run through the area including the Ringwood stop line. There were also four major airfields – Hurn, Ibsley, Tarrant Rushton and Holmsley south. There was also a flying boat base at Hamworthy and at Sandbanks. In early 1944 Studland was chosen to be the place for exercise Smash, one of the rehearsals for operation Overlord. Poole harbour was the third largest embarkment place for troops taking part in Overlord,
and was where the 29th infantry
division embarked for Omaha
beach. All this put together
make Poole a very rich place
to go hunting for bits of second
world war archaeology. A lot of
the defences have now gone but
many do still remain. 
 
This website is about trying to
document as many as I can in
the area that I have chosen to
explore, which is a rectangle
with the corners being
Kimmeridge, Blandford,
Fordingbridge and Milford
on sea. My overall goal is to try
to make people more aware of
what is around them. Many
people walk past pill boxes, dragon's teeth and other defences without even knowing what they are, or what they were entrusted to do. Second word war remains are one of the fastest disappearing types of archaeology. For instance there were four air raid shelters, designed to each take 50 people in the lower gardens in Bournemouth. But a few years ago the council opened them up to see if they could be used for anything, and finding that they couldn't be of any use in true council style they knocked them down and built a car park. There are now only 60 heavy AA gun batteries left still in good conditions out of the once thousands. My hope with this site is that it will help you to find and explore these sites. Some are hard to get to but most are easily accessible. Be warned though some of the sites are very dangerous, with trip hazards everywhere and buildings ready to full down, not to mention the rubbish that people have left over the years. 
 
I hope you find some things that you did not know about before and enjoy exploring the history of the area. 
                                           More infomation on british defences