Posted: 28 February 2009 21:01

Roadblock recce I spent the day inspecting Battle's roadblock sites and found a set of four rail sockets at a location not listed in the Roadblock report.

These can only be sockets; they've been filled in with concrete, but their size and number indicates an anti-tank intention. In use, I expect four vertical rails would've blocked this lane. I've highlighted the sockets themselves in red.

The other locations were at the obvious extents of the Battle nodal point perimeter, which was partially defined by lines of cubes; I noted the surviving remnants back in April 2007.

Moving on through the area, I came across the road junction seen below; the road on the left appears to have been blocked with a permanent barricade as its components are not listed.

The main road on the right was blocked with a combination of pimples, buoys, cylinders and both straight and bent rails.

Roadblock recce

Moving through the town centre, the photo below shows the eastern extent of the nodal point, marked by a roadbock.

Roadblock recce

An interesting point is that one of the windows you can see was in a defended building that had been shored up as a machine gun post, but in line with my policy of not revealing all my research online, you'll have to guess which one it is...

- Pete



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Small concrete roadblock obstacle comprising a truncated cone with domed base. A hollow shaft down the centre allowed the buoy to be manhandled using a crowbar. Buoys were deemed of little value by 1941 and cylinders seen as a better solution.


Anti-tanks blocks, popularly known as dragon's teeth. Not to be confused with smaller blocks known as pimples, cubes can be upwards of 1m square. Many examples in Sussex have apexes or chamfered edges, leading to them being incorrectly recorded as coffins.


Reinforced concrete cylindrical obstacles with a shaft down the centre in which could be inserted a crowbar for manhandling, or a picket for barbed wire. Cylinders were 90cm high and 60cm wide and deployed in groups of three as a more effective alternative for buoys.

Defended building

An existing building occupied as a fighting position, usually incorporating some form of fortification such as sandbagging, shoring up of ceilings or cutting of loopholes in external walls.

Nodal Point

Defended road junction(s), usually within a village/town with a Home Guard garrison intended to deny enemy use of the roads. Nodal Points were not to defend the village, but solely the road network. Category 'A' Nodal Points were to hold out for 7 days after invasion without outside assistance.


Small anti-tank block in the form of a truncated pyramid. Pimples were used to extend anti-tank obstacles and roadblocks and were intended for use on soft ground.


Concrete-lined shafts dug into road surfaces into which rails or RSJs (hairpin or straight) could be inserted to form a roadblock. When not in use, a wooden cover was placed over each socket.

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Hibbs, Peter Roadblock recce (20) - Battle (2020) Available at: Accessed: 22 February 2020

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