In preparation for Operation Overlord, the codename for the Battle of Normandy, Canadian troops build a replica section of the Atlantic Wall. In 1940 Germany had seized large areas of France, however were concerned about being attacked from the Americans, before they had a chance to invade Britain. Hitler gave the order for German soldiers to build defences along the French coast and in 1942 construction of submarine bases, batteries and garrisons were built.
Back in Britain, Canadian Troops built a replica section of the Atlantic Wall in the area of Hankley Common known as the Lion’s Mouth. This 100m long wall was built with reinforced concrete and was 3m high by 3.5m wide. Other defences were also built including dragons teeth, concrete blocks and wire entanglements.
As shown above, evidence of the walls use is still prominent. In training of how to breach the wall, a large section was destroyed, caused by “Double Onions”. A steel framework with 1000lbs of explosives strapped to it was mounted to the front of a Churchill Tank which placed the charges at the wall before backing off and detonating them.
The site is still used by the military however can be visited by the public.
Sources: SurreyHills.org, NormandyWarGuide.com & EuropeRemembers.com