Roseisle Beach Defences

Burghead, Scotland

The beach at Roseisle near Burghead were used by the Americans and Canadians for training exercises for the D Day landings.

Just off the coast at Findhorn are 8 amphibious tanks that sank during training exercises. What makes them particularly interesting is that they are Matildas and not the amphibious Sherman.

The coast here is under constant erosion due to its sandy composition. Fortunately, this area of coast line is under the control of the forestry commission and so is well protected.


This is the collapsed rear blast wall of one of the many still standing pillboxes. The rear entrance is very small and still shows the metal catches and hinges for the door.


View from one of the side slits down the beach. Clearly visible are the many tank obstacles and remaining pillboxes.


View inside one of the pillboxes. You can see wooden batons fixed above each loophole, possibly as some form of weather proofing shutters etc.


Front and side view.


Pillbox and beach obstacles


At very low tide you can clearly see remains of wooden posts along the shore line that were part of the simulated beach obstacles used during the training exercises.


View down beach


Remains of broken pillbox showing the corrugated iron used in its formation.


Larger beach obstacle possibly used as part of a beach gateway.


Two large beach obstacles side by side possibly part of a beach gateway.


Remains of the heavily rusted metal door catch at a pillbox entrance.


A clear view inside a pillbox showing the internal shelf. This is very deep and would have meant the occupiers would have been huddled together in the centre. They may very well have placed sand bags on the shelves to give then something to lean on.


By Gary & Ness Smith

Photo Update From S. Takahashi 2010


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Defence Structures and sites of all types both above and below ground can be very dangerous. Serious injury or even death can arise from unauthorised entry into such sites and structures. Join a responsible club, group or society who can arrange official visits. The Pillbox Study Group accepts no responsibility for any damages or injuries caused by ignoring this advice. The PSG does not encourage members to undertake the ad hoc clearance of vegetation from pillboxes, as it can expose them to physical damage and inappropriate use, it may also contravene a variety of statutory regulations including, listed buildings and SSSI designations. Vegetation clearance should only ever be undertaken as part of a formal arrangement, having sought and obtained permission from the land owner and other necessary authorities. Damaging a listed or scheduled monument can be considered as a Heritage Crime.

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