Stopping Hitler's Invasion

The GHQ 'Stop' Line in the Landscape

Philip Rowe

In May 1940 the German army outmanoeuvred Allied forces in northern France and Belgium, forcing its evacuation from Dunkirk. Fearing an invasion, General Headquarters Home Forces set about the rapid re-militarisation of the United Kingdom to oppose, arguably, the first very real threat to the country's sovereignty since 1066.
Date Published :
December 2020
Publisher :
Pen and Sword
Series :
Modern Conflict Archaeology
Illustration :
70 illustrations
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Hardback
ISBN : 9781526713605
Pages : 200
Dimensions : 9.25 X 6 inches
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Not Yet Published. Available for Pre-Order
$49.95

Overview
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In May 1940 the German army outmaneuvered Allied forces in northern France and Belgium, forcing its evacuation from Dunkirk. Fearing an invasion, General Headquarters Home Forces set about the rapid remilitarization of the United Kingdom to oppose, arguably, the first very real threat to the country’s sovereignty since 1066.

Erecting a series of defensive fieldworks and gun emplacements countrywide, the backbone of these anti-invasion measures was the ‘GHQ’ [Stop] Line.

A physical linear defense line that extended the width and breadth of the country, the ‘GHQ’ Line has largely been bypassed by history. Moving ever closer to beyond living memory, the strategic effectiveness of the anti-invasion defenses has long been overshadowed by popular culture in its depiction of home defense during the Second World War. Viewed as a defensive folly derived from First World War strategies, it has been suggested that the ‘Stop Line’ strategy was intended to act as a visual deterrent rather than a serious defensive countermeasure. Never contested, the ‘GHQ’ Line was a prepared battlefield that never faced the unpredictable test of conflict, and so remains untried as a singular defensive strategy.

With many of its fieldworks now removed, forgotten or overgrown in the contemporary landscape, this book explores the thought processes behind its design, construction, siting and strategic effectiveness in the landscape by examining GHQ Line Green, a 145km section of GHQ line largely extant within South West England.

Only archaeological investigation can bring it alive once more and answer these questions…

About The Author
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An archaeological 'conflict' landscape investigator by profession, Philip Rowe’s main area of interest and research is the social archaeology of modern conflict, in particular Britain's home defences of the early to mid-20th century.

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