Monument record ADB 131 - A World War II Anti-Tank ditch across Aldeburgh Marshes.

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A World War II Anti-Tank ditch across Aldeburgh Marshes, Aldeburgh


Grid reference Centred TM 45794 56351 (654m by 1319m)
Map sheet TM45NE


Type and Period (1)

Full Description

An extensive Second World War Anti-Tank ditch in Aldeburgh parish is visible on aerial photographs, centred on circa TM45815665. A small section of the ditch to the south of Aldeburgh is clearly visible being created on aerial photographs of 1940, and can be seen completed on photographs of 1941 and 1942 (S1-S4). Unfortunately these photographs are of a scale that does not show the full extent of the ditch to the west of Aldeburgh. The full scale of the ditch is visible however, on US aerial photographs of 1943 and RAF photographs of 1945 (S5, S6). On these the ditch can be seen running from circa TM45795700, near Aldeburgh Hall, cutting across Aldeburgh Marshes to the west and terminating at TM46155569 where it abuts the sea wall on the River Alde. In total, the ditch is just over 2km long. As can be seen on S1-S3, a dog-leg length of roughly 250m, separate from the main ditch, runs from circa TM46265592 to TM46365597 (S2, S3). This appears to be the first section to be constructed, by widening existing drainage channels. At some time between 6th October and 17th December 1941construction of the rest of the ditch appears to have begun in the this way, with the resultant spoil being piled up on either side to create an accompanying bank. Such ditches were an important part of the coastal anti-invasion defences of World War two and this ditch was a single component of a larger system of defences that covered much of the coastline of Suffolk during the war years (e.g. see ADB 106, ARG 051).

Sources/Archives (6)

  • <S1> Photograph: RAF. Air Photograph. RAF 2/BR11/14 2-3 08-Jul-1940.
  • <S2> Photograph: RAF. Air Photograph. RAF 2A/BR167 2-3 17-Dec-1941.
  • <S3> Photograph: RAF. Air Photograph. RAF S/656 109-110 06-Oct-1941.
  • <S4> Photograph: RAF. Air Photograph. RAF AC/59 102-103 19-Jun-1942.
  • <S5> Photograph: USAAF. USAAF Air Photograph. US/7PH/GP/LOC132 5048-5049 30-Dec-1943.
  • <S6> Photograph: RAF. Air Photograph. RAF 106G/UK/929 3301-3302.

Finds (0)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (1)

Record last edited

Sep 25 2013 3:56PM

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