Petroleum Warfare Site,Ludlow Shropshire.

Discussion in 'United Kingdom' started by CL1, Apr 22, 2019.

  1. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    Petroleum Warfare Site,Ludlow Shropshire.
    A petrol station was on this site until a few years ago.

    It is said that there was a flame thrower buried in position to cover Temeside, a major route through the town of Ludlow - in May 1940 this was the A49 main road. The town is now bypassed. Temeside is a short stretch of road running from Ludford Bridge along the side of the River Teme to where the B4361 swings up towards the town.
    (Source: Book 1999/01/21)


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    Defence of Britain Archive
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  2. Mr Jinks

    Mr Jinks Bit of a Cad

    Shropshire Stoplines bridge barrier obstruction barricade spigot mortar home guard

    Ludlow (SO51477425)

    Site of flame thrower buried in position to cover Temeside, a major route through the town. In 1940 this was the A49 main road which has now been bypassed. Temeside is a short stretch of road running from Ludford Bridge along the side of the River Teme to where the B4361 swings up towards the town. This device was removed after the war

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  3. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    Petroleum Warfare Department - Wikipedia

    Home Guard Flamethrower[edit]
    The so-called Home Guard Flamethrower was not a flamethrower in the conventional sense, but a small, semi-mobile flame trap.

    From about September 1940, 300 Home Guard units received a kit of parts provided by the PWD: a 50 to 65 imperial gallons (230 to 300 l) barrel, 100 feet (30 metres) of hose, a hand pump, some connective plumbing and a set of do-it-yourself instructions.[88][89] The barrel was set upon an eight-and-a-half-foot-long (2.6 m) hand cart that was made locally from four by two inch timber and mounted on a pair of wheels salvaged from a car axle. The nozzle and ground spike were of simple construction from sections of three-quarter-inch diameter gas pipe with a used food can over the end to catch drips of fuel that would maintain a flame when the pressure was allowed to drop. When completed, the weapon was filled with a 40/60 mixture obtained locally.

    The Home Guard Flame Thrower was light enough to be wheeled along roads and possibly over fields to where it was needed by its crew of five to six men. It would be used as part of an ambush in combination with Molotov cocktails and whatever other weapons were available. The pump was operated by hand and would give a flame of up to sixty feet (18 m) in length – but only for about two minutes of continuous operation.[90][91][92]

    Harvey flamethrower[edit]
    In use
    Harvey Flame Thrower
    The Harvey flamethrower was introduced in August 1940, it was made mostly made from readily available parts such as wheels from agricultural equipment manufacturers and commercially available compressed air cylinders.[93] It comprised a welded steel cylinder containing 22 gallons (100 l) of creosote and a standard bottle of compressed nitrogen at 1,800 pounds per square inch (120 bar) mounted on a sack truck of the type that a railway station porter might use. 25 feet (7.6 metres) of armoured hose provided the connection to a four-foot-long (1.2 m) lance with a nozzle and some paraffin soaked cotton waste that was set alight to provide a source of ignition. In operation, the pressure in the fuel container was raised to about 100 psi (6.9 bar) causing a cork in the nozzle to be ejected followed by a jet of fuel lasting about 10 seconds at a range of up to 60 ft (18 m).[94] Like the Home Guard Flame Thrower, it was intended as an ambush weapon, but in this case the operator was able to direct the flames by moving the lance which would be pushed through a hole in otherwise bullet proof cover such as a brick wall
  4. Robert-w

    Robert-w Well-Known Member

    I believe that the defences here evolved so that initially there was a flame fougasse and a steel rope that could be raised to block passage over the bridge. This was intended to cause any vehicle to pause long enough to be hit by the fougasse. The hope was that the vehicle would be set alight and block passage by any following vehicles. A Blacker Bombard was added later on a concrete pillar mounting - set back bur zeroed in onto the bridge.
    Initially this was part of Western Command Stop Line No. 28 (Teme Stop Line) and would be manned by 7th Bat Shropshire Home Guard. Many of the bridges on this stop line had Blacker Bombards covering them and some of the concrete pillars can still be found. Later when the concept of stop lines was abandoned it became part of the Ludlow Anti Tank Island
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  5. Robert-w

    Robert-w Well-Known Member

    Just some minor expansions on the above post
    • Stop line no 28 was intended to prevent outflanking of the Severn Stop line
    • Calling it the Shropshire Stop Line is inaccurate as it ran down the lower Teme Valley and included parts of Herefordshire and Worcestershire as well as Shropshire (incidentally the Lower Teme Valley is where J R Tolkien spent much of his boyhood and was the model for the Shire so that perhaps one might call it the Hobbit Stop Line - it's also where I now live)
    • A Flame Fougasse was modelled on the Fougasse of old and was originally a buried container with an explosive charge that that projected a mass of stones against an attacker (a proto IRD). The flame fougasse projected (threw) the contents of a petrol drum. The Flame Fougasse was buried The HG flame thrower was not buried.
    • The Blacker Bombard was devised by Col. Blacker ex Indian Army, the man who organised the first flight over Everest and a former spy. It was indeed a spigot mortar and some were also issued to the regular army and the Indian Army on a field mounting. The latter used them in action in the Western Desert. It formed a model for the PIAT
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  6. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

  7. Robert-w

    Robert-w Well-Known Member

    Well the concrete mount is but the mortar has long gone. As I said there are a number of these mounts still in place

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