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lossie view from beach WWII

During World War 2, the construction of a line of defences along the Moray coastline aimed to slow down a possible German invasion. Today in Lossie, you can explore the remains of these defences.

Essential coastal defences

In 1940, Britain was under threat of German invasion. As a result, a plan was put into action to defend any coastline where the enemy could easily land.

The Moray coastal defences ran between Cullen Bay and Findhorn Bay, through today's Lossie and Roseisle Forests.

Within the forest at Lossie, there's evidence of the variety of defences constructed. Firstly, there are the concrete foundations of a military camp. This is where the soldiers who constructed and manned the defences lived.

lossie searchlight

Concrete anti-tank blocks ran the full length of the defences. They are no longer complete but long sections of the line are still visible on the edge of the forest.

Pillboxes were another part of the defences. Two alternating designs, square and hexagonal shaped, zigzagged a line along the coastline. Over twenty of these still remain at Lossie.

lossie pillbox interior

Depiction of soliders inside a pillbox at Lossie

On the edge of the forest, you will discover the ruins of a Coastal Battery, consisting of a number of structures. The long range guns stationed at the battery protected Lossiemouth port from attack by sea.

lossie gun emplacement

Depiction of long range guns at Lossie

Find out more about visiting Lossie, and explore the fascinating remains of our defences during the Second World War.

Running a coastal battery

lossie observers

Now derelict, the coastal battery at Lossie Forest defended Lossiemouth harbour from German attack during World War 2.

In June 1940, a Polish Army Engineer Corps constructed some of these defences. Wieslaw Szczygiel, a Polish soldier in that unit, recalls briefly working on them before moving to a unit at Tentsmuir.

The 227th battery of the 501 Coastal Regiment manned the coastal station once it was completed on 28 May 1941.

At the front of the battery were two gun emplacements, armed with large 6 inch Mark 11 guns. These were old World War I guns removed from naval ships and stored until needed.  They were powerful and could fire long distances, excellent for keeping enemy ships at bay.

Behind the gun emplacements, there were a series of other buildings. Two machine gun emplacements would provide firepower to defend the beach if enemy troops landed.

A vital building was the Battery Observation Post (BOP).  As command control, this was where the calculations for aiming and firing the big guns were made. Later, radar was introduced to help detect the enemy's approach.

Two searchlight stations provided light to see an enemy attack at night.

To prevent detection from enemy planes the buildings were painted and hidden with web netting. Today this camouflage is no longer evident.

In April 1945, the battery went out of operation followed by the removal of the guns two months later.

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