After the surrender of France in June 1940, the south coast of England became a potential frontline against a German invasion. Brighton’s beaches closed at 5pm on 2 July, and barbed wire and barricades were erected across the front.
Many of these photographs were taken at the end of the war to document the defences before their removal.
Brighton and Hove were hit by a surprising number of bombs during the war.
This map was produced by the Brighton and Hove Herald newspaper as a record of where bombs landed in the two towns. It was published in 1944 when air raids had subsided but the war was not yet over. As a result, it does not show some of the later attacks by V1 and V2 flying bombs which occured at the end of the war.
This aerial photograph was taken by a plane of the German Luftwaffe. It is focused on Brighton.
It was one of several taken of the English south coast to prepare for an invasion. A key on the bottom right identifies potential defence measures that German forces might have to encounter.
At this time, the central sections of both the West Pier and the Palace Pier were dismantled so they could not be used as a landing stage by German troops. These have been circled on the map and are marked as destroyed (Zerstört).
This aerial photograph was taken by a plane of the German Luftwaffe. It is focused on Shoreham-by-Sea to the west of Brighton.
It was one of several taken of the English South Coast to prepare for an invasion. Numerous defensive measure and possible hinderances to German forces are marked on the photograph.
In this photograph, Shoreham beach is noted as presenting a hindrance to German tanks (Panzerhindnis). Possible defensive trenches (Splittergraben) are identified at two points.
Shoreham Fort has been circled in and identified on the bottom right of the photo. Originally built in 1857, a battery of six inch guns had been erected on the fort to help defend against German invasion.