WW2 defences removed from beach in Devon

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Two tons of coiled metal spikes, which have lain dormant for over 60 years, have been removed from Northam Burrows’ famous Pebble Ridge in Devon.

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The spikes became exposed back in 2007, before the pebbles swallowed them up again. The intended purpose of the spikes is unclear, as experts believe the coils could have been used for one of two purposes.

The first of these possibilities was to stop enemy tanks in the event of an invasion. The position of the spikes lends credence to this theory, as they were only positioned in a section of the beach that was not guarded by natural sand dunes and therefore logical to assume enemy tanks might try and land there.

Senior Ranger of the Burrows, Shawn Corin believes that this is the case: “the coils would have ripped off the tracks from any tanks rendering them immobile, and the many vertical uncoiled spikes we found would have been connected together using barbed wire, presumably to deter any infantry.”

The other theory is that the spikes were used to hold and support barbed wire, in an effort to fight off infantry and light vehicles by forming a barrier. Whatever the intended usage was, the coils are a fascinating find.

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The better-conditioned artefacts have been sent to North Devon Museum, while the others have been sent to the scrapyard.