British Resistance base

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British Resistance Base, Lincolnshire

Last summer Al showed me round some curious historical places in Lincolnshire including the little known remains of an Operational Base of the British Resistance dating from 1941.

This view shows him on a fallen tree which lies across what was probably the collapsed ammunition store. The breeze-block built hole beyond is the entrance to the emergency exit tunnel.

The Auxilliary Units were created after the fall of France when it was expected that Hitler would invade Britain. The units were made up of soldiers and civilians (farmers, poachers etc, people who knew the land) and they were trained in guerrilla warfare.

Members of a unit, say half a dozen men, would not know the identities of other units and they would’ve had a very short life expectancy, maybe two weeks.

They were to use hideouts like this which were well hidden, and then carry out sabotage attacks from behind enemy lines. It is certain, going off the behaviour of the Nazis elsewhere, that such activities would have seen the populations of entire British villages murdered in revenge for partisan attacks.

This website has all you could want to know about the British Resistance, and this particular page has a cutaway diagram of a typical OB.

www.coleshillhouse.com/bunkers.php

40 comments on “British Resistance base
  1. Keartona says:

    It doesn’t bear thinking about does it, if we had been invaded. Thank goodness for the English channel.

  2. rob of rochdale says:

    Amazing stuff!!

  3. salfordlad1 says:

    Brilliant stuff..

  4. nondesigner59 says:

    Neat hiding hole..

  5. southseadave says:

    I had never really thought of us having a resistance army. I guess i only thought of occupied countries having them, but of course we had to plan ahead for all eventualities.
    Interesting info on the link.

  6. Orchids love rainwater says:

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/27955898@N07] I agree
    Great stuff Ian, this has come up as your latest upload !! something strange going on
    all the best, Julie :))

  7. gastephen says:

    interesting stuff. quite fascinating, really, to think of what alternative histories there could have been.

  8. Gizzardtreedude says:

    A good job that we beat the enemy in the skies. I did see a tv programme on this organisation some time ago but have yet to see one of the hideouts. An interesting part of our defence history 🙂

  9. cgullz says:

    Al we need to get some more protein into yr diet, you rangey fulla you. great shot Ian, fantastic warm atmosphere .. really like the leafy greens hanging about [tropical like], the open door adds a sense of mystery and is small enough to not be ominous [at least from here it’s not!]. great info – those poor Frenchmen Englishmen – two weeks!! and ‘layfellows’ too which makes would have made it sadder.

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/27955898@N07] yes!

  10. Ian D B says:

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/reflectionsreturn] [http://www.flickr.com/photos/gastephen] [http://www.flickr.com/photos/pyride] [http://www.flickr.com/photos/southseadave] [http://www.flickr.com/photos/nondesigner] [http://www.flickr.com/photos/25305713@N04] [http://www.flickr.com/photos/longsidepies] [http://www.flickr.com/photos/27955898@N07] Thanks everyone. Agree, without the RAF and the English Channel we’d all be wearing lederhosen by now.

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/angwickham] Poor Frenchmen? This is about the British resistance Ang. Have you been watching re-runs of Allo Allo again?

    ; )

  11. Steve Graham (formerly 'grahamsj3) says:

    I just spent a good bit of time on that web site. I knew that there was some "home guard" training, but was unaware of the network of resistance that was being prepared. I agree with you regarding the retaliation against innocent civilians…given the German record elsewhere, there certainly would have been reprisals had any resistance attacks occurred. The British would have withstood it, as others did, but it certainly would have made an already terrible war even more so.

  12. cgullz says:

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/maycontaintracesofnuts] LOL shit sorry. no just my addled brain reading ‘fall of France’ and missing your future tense on ‘would’ve’ for life expectancy ..

  13. cgullz says:

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/maycontaintracesofnuts] don’t know what i was think really. quite possibly about how much rice, mince and eggs we should be feeding Al …

  14. Ian D B says:

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/60188340@N04]
    Thanks Steve. Yes it is difficult to imagine but there is no reason for us to assume the Germans would have treated our parents and grandparents any differently.

    That website is excellent, really comprehensive. I notice wikipedia quoting big chunks of it.

    There is a very good novel, out of print now but easy to buy 2nd hand on amazon called And All The King’s Men by Gordon Stevens. It describes the Nazi invasion of Britain through Kent (German troops marching through Ashford and Canterbury…) and a lot of it is about these Resistance units. Well worth seeking out, though it is 20 years since I read it. In other words, I remember it being good but my opinion might be different if I read it now!

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/product-reviews/033031534X/ref=cm_cr_dp_...

  15. Ian D B says:

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/angwickham] I must fess up; I added the word ‘would”ve’ after I read your comment. Fair play.

    Al is as fit as a butcher’s dog and puts me to shame.

  16. crusader752 says:

    I just love your posts Ian – on two counts:
    Firstly – talk about informative – like others and to my embarassment I had no idea any of this went on as I always thought that the ‘home Guard’ was all we had as a second line of defence! Incredible goings on and that some of it still exists.
    Secondly – the interaction you create here on Flickr with all these wonderful contacts you have, some of whom I’ve been lucky enough to both share and correspond with too.
    Thank you 🙂
    PS.
    My apologies – you take jolly good photo’s too – better make that three then ..at least :-))

  17. cgullz says:

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/maycontaintracesofnuts] LOL! now the truth comes out – how kind of you. i’ve gotten so used to cocking up with a fatigued brain that i just take it for granted that I’m in the wrong. well i was .. but perhaps a little mislead too hahaa that’s funny. .. I think Al puts anyone of us in our 40’s to shame. and quite possibly me in my 30s too .. at least post 34 it’s all been downhill from there … or should i say round hill ..

  18. Luís Henrique Boucault says:

    Very nice shot! Well done!

  19. ØØ_Void says:

    Awesome capture.

  20. Ian D B says:

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/angwickham] Lol, I had to come clean! Downhill for me since turning 43…
    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/29288836@N00]
    Rob, thank you very much for your kind words. I am always pleased when people find this stuff interesting! Feedback from contacts makes it all worthwhile. Don’t know about you but I wouldn’t bother without it; it is why Flickr is an ideal place for a photo-history blog,because we can guage what people like and what they don’t like better than on a non-interactive blog.

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/oovoid] [http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhboucault] Thank you

  21. mick cooke says:

    yes very interesting ian , great info

  22. stiemer says:

    Great stuff, very interesting.

  23. SolarScot. says:

    there are two of these near here,one at the side of the Castle lake and one near Coldstream, they are well overgrown but i guess they might be worth hunting out,fascinating stuff Ian

  24. cgullz says:

    incidentally, if Al ever shows up … i read this article on NZ Intrepid [quite possibly on the day you posted this] .. and remembered after I logged off on last visit, so Al i know you know all this but :
    calorie planning for the outdoors!

  25. Highy says:

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/29551624@N03] [http://www.flickr.com/photos/26184570@N03]
    Thanks for the comments you two – more meat on a butchers pencil ; -)

    Not my best side, but to be fair I’d been doing a lot of running/ biking in the months before this. Thanks for the link Ang. Ian forgets to mention the waist high nettles that I wasn’t dressed for!

    There’s half a dozen of these operational bases spread along a escarpment here in Lincs, most survive because unlike some other areas of the country, precast concrete sections were used for construction. I can recommend this book for anybody interested in some further reading:
    http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Churchills-Underground-Army/p/1742/

  26. cgullz says:

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/highy] *chuckles* hey you can’t help being a fit bugger and makin the rest of us a bit jealous 😉 .. nettles! ah yes, something i learned about as a kid in the UK [we have lethal ones over here but they are far and few between] .. waist high, not a walk for kiddies then. or short people. unless wearing rainwear. bugger that for a laugh – just as well you weren’t any wider then – you could probably sashay* through them without them knowing you were there 😉

    *I don’t even know if this is a real word, and therefore also don’t know the spelling of this possible word.

    does it say something about the people of the area then, that they build in precast concrete? you know you’re in an industrial region when folks approach a build like that, even back then! over here they’d be known as ‘clever bastards.’

  27. Ian D B says:

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/mick_cooke_wildlife] [http://www.flickr.com/photos/stiemer] Cheers both.
    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/solarscot] You should John, I never knew about their existance till Al put me right.
    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/angwickham] [http://www.flickr.com/photos/highy] Sashay is currency round here too, don’t worry.
    Al yeah, the bloody nettles. Christ they were bad, they were stinging me through my strides so you must have been red raw in your sawn-offs. This was your equivalent of me turning up for a muddy mooch about those Lincolnshire fields wearing a pair of town shoes….

  28. cgullz says:

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/29288836@N00] i’ll take some of that wonderful thanks Rob 😉

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/maycontaintracesofnuts] i create new words all the time and get a few strange looks, i think i’m beginning to lose track of the English language .. perhaps that’s why i can appreciate Engells .. ‘real’ English if you know what i mean, so well written it’s like reading liquid – just flows ever so nicely.

  29. Ian D B says:

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/angwickham] Liquid prose. Yeah there was an Aussie author (probably still is, don’t supose he has changed his nationality) called Tim Winton, wrote a book called The Riders. The story didn’t leave much of an impression, in fact I felt a bit annoyed at the end of it… but his writing flowed like liquid, you are hardly aware you are reading coz the words are chosen so well. Impossible to forget. It won the Booker Prize I think.

  30. cgullz says:

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/maycontaintracesofnuts] currently reading the second book of a series by a writer from Portland, OR {Chris Melloy .. fk my brain: Colin Meloy} that I feel the same way about. it’s an older childrens book and he uses words like temerity and gawp. but so bloody well written. I get taken in by an unbelievable story very quickly. like wordy quicksand.

  31. Jainbow says:

    It’s a lovely picture and place – I don’t suppose many people know the store is there ^_^

  32. bill_fawcett says:

    Very interesting Ian and thanks for the research. You might be interested in these videos
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bKMTkZP1n_Q

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X7QHAdK6kD8

  33. Highy says:

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/55833562@N00]
    Thanks for the link, very interesting Bill.

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/29551624@N03]
    Sashay through the nettles = ) that’ll be right – you should have heard the language, think we invented a few new adjectives that day!

  34. Ian D B says:

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/bill_fawcett] Those are excellent clips, thanks Bill. Had not seen those before.
    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/jainbow] I couldn’t tell you where it is Jane. Al blindfolded me, spun me round a few times and then duffed me up for good measure to make sure I never revealed the location to anyone.
    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/highy] That book looks good, but they are always so expensive! My birthday money is going on a new tripod anyway.
    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/angwickham] A good book… I don’t read any other sort now. If a book doesn’t hold me within the first chapter I put it away. Life’s too short. Am reading The End by Ian Kershaw, a history of the last 9 months of Hitler’s Germany. It is excellent.

  35. bazylek100 says:

    Very interesting place. I love to explore old bunkers and fortifications!
    A "British Resistance" is a new term for me. I heard about the Home Guard before, but now British partisans are something different 🙂
    Well, for many reasons it’s good that the theory wasn’t needed to be put into practice!
    The resistance movement on the continent would have been much less effective with no support and air drops from the UK, given that England would have been occupied.

    In this photo your friend looks somewhat like the last partisan, who has just left his bunker to surprisingly learn that the war was over many years ago 😉

  36. amyrey says:

    Som’at else I knew nowt about…..

  37. cgullz says:

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/maycontaintracesofnuts] sounds like a gripping read .. and yes, good books – i don’t search by title or author, just what jumps out at me. If i like the first paragraph it’s a go. it seems to work 🙂

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/highy] video recording next time please, it’d be both informative as far as hearing yr accent but also helluva funny 🙂 it’s always funny to hear cursing that sounds a little different. maybe i’m just uncouth ..

  38. pasujoba says:

    I can hear the Allo Allo music in my head as I write . Looks a bit warmer than last time I saw Al !

  39. Ian D B says:

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/bazylek] Lol, yeah like one of those Japanese soldiers on a Pacific island somewhere!
    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/pasujoba44] Al was kept warm by all the stinging nettles.

  40. Mustang Koji says:

    Fascinating, Ian… And I would tend to agree with you on how the civilians would have been executed…

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