Posted: 17 December 2008 17:25

On my way into Kent today, I stopped off and did some roadblock work at John's Cross and Cripp's Corner.

Roadblock recce

John's Cross was a strategic road junction situated along a defensive line (part of the grid system) known as the WL-WM grid line. The junction was defended with a series of anti-tank ditches and a couple of roadblocks.

The junction has been heavily landscaped, a roundabout added and the roads seemingly widened since the war, making it unlikely that much evidence survived - there was certainly no sign of the large cylinders the roadblock report states were once here.

Roadblock recce

Moving down the road to Cripp's Corner, which was a nodal point, I located a pair of cylinders that I already knew about.

The one in the photo marks the approximate location of a roadblock; some farm buildings have been removed since I was last here, but the cylinder and dragon's teeth have not been affected.

The other cylinder was probably also part of this block, but has moved a short distance along another road.

Moving to the other side of the village, I found a solitary buoy on another road junction.

Roadblock recce

This is an interesting problem; although there was a roadblock here, it comprised 5 sockets and rails and no buoys! This block was listed as redundant and so was not scheduled to receive extra materials from other roadblocks. There was another block further along the road that has 20 buoys listed, so it may have come from here.

- Pete

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Anti-tank ditch

Ditch designed to hinder movement of tanks and AFVs. Ditches could be entirely artificial or existing ditches or natural features such as rivers, might be dredged, shaped and revetted to improve their effectiveness.


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.


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.



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Hibbs, Peter Roadblock recce (17) John's Cross - Cripp's Corner (2017) Available at: http://wwww.pillbox.org.uk/blog/216592/ Accessed: 21 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!