Scallywag bunkers: geophysical investigations of WW2 Auxiliary Unit Operational Bases (OBs) in the UK

Journal article


Carr, S., Pringle, J., Doyle, P., Wisniewski, K. and Stimpson, I. (2020). Scallywag bunkers: geophysical investigations of WW2 Auxiliary Unit Operational Bases (OBs) in the UK. Journal of Conflict Archaeology. 15 (1), pp. 4-31. https://doi.org/10.1080/15740773.2020.1822102
AuthorsCarr, S., Pringle, J., Doyle, P., Wisniewski, K. and Stimpson, I.
Abstract

© 2020 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. In 1940, with the fall of France imminent, Britain prepared secret ‘Auxiliary Units’ tasked with guerrilla activities [Scallywagging] in the invading army’s rear. Patrols of four to eight highly skilled men used below-ground Operational Bases (OBs) in remote locations to avoid detection. No official records are released, but OBs were ‘Mark I’, enlarged deer setts, smuggler caves, etc., and Mark II, prefabricated designs by the Royal Engineers. This paper details three sites in Suffolk: one unknown Mark I was destroyed, a Mark II was partially intact and a Mark II was fully intact, all in secluded woods. Geophysical surveys found metal detectors optimal for location, with mid-frequency GPR/ERT optimal for characterisation. Archaeological finds included home-made braziers, 1940 kerosene heater stove, metal pans, ventilation systems and escape tunnels. This study shows OBs varied in construction and condition, with surveys detecting and characterising them, bringing WWII British ‘invasion’ history into the wider scientific community and public domain.

KeywordsArchaeology; Archaeology; History
Year2020
JournalJournal of Conflict Archaeology
Journal citation15 (1), pp. 4-31
PublisherInforma UK Limited
ISSN1574-0773
1574-0781
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1080/15740773.2020.1822102
Funder/ClientNo funding
Publication dates
Online16 Sep 2020
Print02 Jan 2020
Publication process dates
Accepted18 Aug 2020
Deposited21 Dec 2020
Accepted author manuscript
License
File Access Level
Open
Additional information

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in the Journal of Conflict Archaeology on 16 September 2020, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/15740773.2020.1822102

Page range1-28
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License: CC BY 4.0
File access level: Open

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