(Image: Disco-Dan; the abandoned cliff complex of St Margaret’s Bay)
If you were looking for a place to land an invasion force on the coastline of southern England, St Margaret’s Bay in Kent would seem like a strong candidate. At least, that was the thinking at Whitehall during World War Two, where defence of this stretch of Kentish coast was made a top priority. Today, the forgotten wartime tunnels are still there, abandoned in the wake of a German invasion force that thankfully never came to be.
In the event of a landing, British soldiers would have scrambled through the cliff complex to gun batteries and pillboxes, from where they would unleash a fierce bombardment of the beach below. Indeed, old machine gun nests are visible even now, still watching out over the busy waters of the English Channel.
The abandoned cliff complex of St Margaret’s Bay was one of many wartime defences in the area. Another impressive example, the Fan Bay Deep Shelter, was rediscovered and excavated in 2012.