Military history of eastern England explored

Researchers conducted a project to reveal and document the military history of the rural region of South Norfolk, East United Kingdom, which played a pivotal role in military actions during the world wars.

Map showing 20th century tank tracks overlaid onto a Google Earth map (by Eastern Daily Press)
Map showing 20th century tank tracks overlaid onto a Google Earth map (by Eastern Daily Press)

The area of the Brecks, or Breckland, a gorse-covered sandy heath region that lies mostly in the South of the Norfolk county, is filled with relics of military operation conducted in the first half of 20th century, such as the first tank training bases to decoy airfields. The Brecks Military History project was conducted to reveal the history of the area’s part in 20th century warfare. The experts were able to find the documents about an airfield at Snarehill, near Thetford, which was used as a training base and the home of an anti-zeppelin squadron in the First World War. The site was also used as a decoy base to distract enemy aircraft in the Second World War. The base was equipped with dummy shelters and a decoy control tower on it – these objects are said to be still in good condition.

Structures present at Snarehill Aerodrome (by Eastern Daily Press)
Structures present at Snarehill Aerodrome (by Eastern Daily Press)

The researchers were also able to map out former locations of Nissen huts at the camp used by the 7th Armoured Division, called Desert Rats, at High Ash, used by the squadron in 1943. The study also revealed, through LiDAR data and military maps comparison, the first locations of tank training bases in the Brecks, including one in Elveden, where this new type of weapon were developed in 1916. The publication of the project, a 48-page illustrated report is said to be l be released in time for Armistice Day, November 11th.

(after Eastern Daily Press)

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