A Wee Jaggy Bits o’ History Special on how the British Army trained on how to crack Hitler’s Atlantic Wall on D-Day.
Hitler was determined to fortify the coastline of the occupied countries and he charged the Organisation Todt with building a series of coastal defences along continental Europe to deter invasion and the odd Commando raid.
The Allies had a problem in that they knew they would have to face the German coastal defences but they didn’t know what the best way of tackling them.
So they built replicas of the defences on a moor near Stirling and basically blasted them to bits with various types of ordinance to see what worked best.
The moorland had been used in WW1 for trench warfare training and range practice, it was fairly remote. Stirling Castle and a whole host of army bods were nearby so Sherifmuir was the logical choice for the tests.
The site is broken into four areas, the largest is a 86m length of Atlantic Wall of varying thickness, 3m in height with an anti-tank ditch in front. The remaining three sites are various styles of bunkers.
The Atlantic Wall
The wall may have been topped with barbed wire, although no trace of this remains and the stanchions for the wire may have been vertical when built and some scallywags have bent them all over.
You can see the anti-tank ditch to the right of this picture
Now the blasting bits. The largest breech is this 4m section in the thickest part of the wall
The wall has been perforated in various places
This bunker was built using lessons learned from the German North African campaign. The bunker has two firing platforms on top and a shelter in between.
No real damage can be seen to this bunker, the front or seaward side has an earth embankment in front of it and there’s certainly no damage to the landward side.