Weymouth in WWII : JustWeymouth

Weymouth in WWII History

Weymouth in WWII - World war 2 life in Weymouth

Weymouth in world war II

Weymouth in World War II, like the rest of the south coast of England was within easy striking distance of the Nazis across the channel. The channel islands had already been invaded and Weymouth during WW2 along with the rest of the South coast was on high alert to the threat of invasion. Weymouth WW2 history is therefore very different to the Weymouth holiday resort we see today. WW2 Weymouth lost the happy, jolly holiday atmosphere it had enjoyed pre-war and would become again after hostilities had ceased. During World War two Weymouth holiday favourites such as the sandy Weymouth beach had barbed wire placed along it to protect against a potential Nazi invasion. The traditional seaside arcades closed due to a lack of Weymouth holidays being taken, anti aircraft guns were placed in strategic positions throughout the town and hotels and guesthouses closed their doors to guests 'for the duration'. The happy Weymouth world war two holiday town became a town prepared for invasion.

The Nothe Fort in World War II

The Nothe fort was an important defence for Weymouth in WW2, during world war II, the Nothe Fort was adapted to be used for anti aircraft activities and a huge anti aircraft gun was placed upon the ramparts. A restored anti aircraft gun from the period can be found on the Nothe Fort ramparts to this day and from this point you can take in some of the fantastic panoramic views across Weymouth, Portland and the coasts towards Lulworth. The views from the top are probably the best in the town and it is definitely high on the list of places to see in Weymouth. Whether you are on a Weymouth holiday or just visiting for the day, a visit to the Nothe Fort is one of the best value days out in Weymouth.

WW2 Bombing in Weymouth

With Weymouth harbour as well as Portland harbour being used by the military during the war, Weymouth was a regular target of the German Luftwaffe who dropped bombs on Weymouth throughout the war. To this day there is still the occasional Weymouth bomb scare attributed to the finding of a WW2 bomb on Weymouth beach or brought in by a fisherman. Particularly heavy bombing through 1940, 1941 and 1942 destroyed many Weymouth houses and killed many residents. The area of Weymouth known as Chapelhay was especially heavily hit during the war and a number of houses were destroyed and demolished, the Nothe Fort tells the story of the Chapelhay bombing with a recreated scene of one of the bombed out houses and rescue taking you back to one of the darkest days of Weymouth WW2 history through sight and sound. The Nothe fort is a major attraction and a visit for any Weymouth holidaymaker is strongly advised, especially those with a interest in history.

Weymouth Billeting, evacuees and the Normandy invasion from Weymouth harbour

Despite the bombings, WW2 Weymouth was still considerably safer than London and the big cities and WW2 Weymouth took a number of evacuees as well as becoming a billeting town for American soldiers during the build-up to the allied invasion. Boats from both Weymouth harbour and Portland sailed to Normandy for the invasion. Another popular Weymouth holiday attraction is a ferry ride around Weymouth coast on 'My Girl' - itself a piece of Weymouth WW2 history. The boat 'My Girl' now used for pleasure trips was used to transport troops during world war II.

Weymouth Home Guard

Weymouth in World War II, like many towns in England developed a force of Local Defence Volunteers, later to become the Home Guard. Being on the south coast and likely to be on the front line should the Nazi's invade, the Weymouth Home Guard would have been expected to defend Weymouth beach and harbour against the invading troops as best they could with the weapons and training provided giving the regular troops some time to organise a counter attack. Apart from this, Weymouth Home Guard forces would have guarded munition factories and taken part in training exercises aimed at defending the town should the need occur. Fortunately, the Home Guard was not called upon due to Hitlers ill fated decision to invade Russia in 1941, therefore delaying the planned invasion of England. If however his invasion had occurred, the Weymouth Home Guard, along with Home Guard forces up and down the country would have been ready and alert throughout to defend Weymouth in World War II.

More Weymouth WW2 History

For more Weymouth WW2 history, visit the fantastic Nothe Fort in Weymouth where you can find out all about the history of Weymouth in World War II from torpedos, the D-Day landings and Dunkirk during which many local Weymouth small ships helped in the rescue. Anti aircraft guns on the ramparts protected Weymouth from bombing in WW2 and there is a life size Weymouth bombing WW2 scene. The Nothe fort gives a comprehensive Weymouth WW2 history as well as taking us through other major wars from the arrival of the Romans right through to the cold war.