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Burntisland Beach

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View towards Burntisland, © historian
View towards Burntisland

Burntisland Beach lies east of the town of Burntisland, Fife, on the north shore of the Firth of Forth, where the coastal town has a natural harbour protected by a breakwater. At low tide, the sea recedes to leave a sandy beach almost one mile wide

World War II

Type 1 post, © historian
Type 1 post

Norway had been occupied by the Germans during the war, and the War Office had determined that the east coast was an area at risk from invasion. This led to the creation of a number of stop-lines and other defences, intended to delay the enemy should this have occurred.

The beach at Burntisland was one such designated area, and some 80 anti-glider landing posts still survive there, north of Black Rocks, a pair of rocks approximately half a mile offshore, which are fully exposed at low tide. Officially classed as air-immobilisation posts, the posts would originally have been about ten feet high when installed, supported by four 3-foot spars attached at their base. The posts have been cut down to a height of three feet, or less where they have rotted away over the years. The posts were arranged in irregular rows, at intervals of about 20 feet, to prevent gliders or aircraft from landing on the beach, and extended at least 1,000 metres offshore, past Black Rocks, as shown in RAF aerial photographs taken in 1945.

The defence extended east, towards Pettycur, where two isolated poles still survive on the beach near the harbour.

Further defences were deployed on the beach, including concrete blocks and wire obstacles. No blocks are reported to remain on the beach, and these may have joined others which have been moved over the years to create coastal defences against erosion. A length of wire obstacle has been reported on the beach.


View towards Kinghorn, historian
View towards Kinghorn
View towards Edinburgh, historian
View towards Edinburgh
Type 2 post, historian
Type 2 post

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