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#280422 - 4th Jan 2009 10:35pm Hilbre Island WW2 Bombing Decoy Bunker ****
w10694 Offline
Addict

Registered: 31st Dec 2008
Posts: 240
Loc: cheshire
I've visited all the other Wirral WW2 bombing decoys, except for Hilbre. The decoys were to give the Luftwaffe the illusion that the Dee Estuary, was indeed the Mersey Estuary, so that they would waste their bombs on the mudflats, rather than the port, which was where most of the convoy supplies landed from the USA.

The Luftwaffe usually bombed Liverpool from the south, following the mid-Wales railway line, to the Dee Estuary, and then turned right to be over Liverpool.

Hilbre was the most northerly decoy, the others on the Dee Estuary were Inner Burton Marsh (includes RAF Sealand airfield decoy), Burton Marsh for Garston Docks, Gayton for Lime Street, Heswall, Hoylake, Moreton, Brimstage and Wallasey.

Hilbre is one of three tiny rocky islands, which are easily walkable (at low tide) from West Kirby. They are one of the few rocks on the coast between Blackpool and Colwyn Bay. They are known to have been three islands as far back as Elizabethan times, from the south, they are named "Little Eye", "Middle Eye", and "Hilbre". "Hilbre" is the biggest.

Middle Eye and Hilbre from West Kirby:



There is an organisation, associated with Hilbre and it's conservation: Friends of Hilbre Island

The website describes the islands better than whatever I can.

Between times, they have been a lifeboat station, a buoyage station, and part of the Telegraph system between Holyhead and Liverpool, to inform the pilots as to which ships were arriving for Liverpool.

During WW2, they were also used for the military, and had two decoys, with one control bunker, a "fire" decoy, known as a "QF", and a "lighting decoy", known as a "QL".

The "QF" Decoy was between "Middle Eye" and "Hilbre", the "QL" was west of Hilbre, and consisted of electric lights on poles on the tidal sands. The "QF" imitated burning buildings, and was said to look like "huts on stilts" from the mainland.

This decoy was particulary effective, being mentioned in Luftwaffe reports as on one particular night (29th / 30th November 1940) "Major fires had been faked by the pouring of oil onto the Dee Estuary west of Birkenhead, with the majority of crews mistaking these for fires in Liverpool".

Location, courtesy of MS Live Local - the 3 tiny islands in the centre:



This shows the location of the decoy sites, and the control bunker (courtesy of Google Earth). The "QF" site is between Hilbre (left), and Middle Eye (right):



This shows the first rocks of Hilbre, which is always (must be !) approached from the south, notice the square concrete block, on the right:



The concrete block was to secure the electric cables from the control bunker, over the top of the rocks, down, and then to the "QF" decoy between "Middle Eye" and "Hilbre". The cables were to start the ignition:



The site of the "QF" Decoy, from "Middle Eye":



First sight of the control bunker:



A pre-war aerial photograph of Hibre, showing that there was no bunker previously:



The bunker entrance - the blast wall has disappeared (like all others on other control bunkers !). The escape hatch is on the top, also used as a look-out. The bunker is exactly the same as the one for Burton Marsh.





The diesel generator exhaust vent:



The electrical control cable exit, via a steel pipe:



The electrical control cable routing:



"QF" straight ahead, "QL" to the right:



Despite being a buried bunker, it still had gutters and drainpipes (!!!), exactly the same as the example at Moreton nearby:



To conclude, the Telegraph Station:



The Telescope mounts for spotting ships (in comfort !) - now superceeded by AIS Liverpool: Ship AIS



Courtesy of a "Friends of Hilbre" member, an original "QF" site firebar, from the Moreton decoy, a few miles away:


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#280427 - 4th Jan 2009 10:44pm Re: Hilbre Island WW2 Bombing Decoy Bunker [Re: w10694]
Doctor_Frick Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 24th Nov 2007
Posts: 308
Loc: Prenton
Nice pics. Thanks for sharing
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Over 5000 years of Wirral History:

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#280429 - 4th Jan 2009 10:45pm Re: Hilbre Island WW2 Bombing Decoy Bunker [Re: w10694]
Dava2479 Offline

Forum Addict

Registered: 10th Feb 2008
Posts: 1924
Loc: Wirral
This is valuable information with excellent pics to enhance your findings.Excellent stuff mate. thumbsup

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#280446 - 4th Jan 2009 11:17pm Re: Hilbre Island WW2 Bombing Decoy Bunker [Re: Dava2479]
SoundLad Offline

Are you SoNutz?
Forum Master

Registered: 22nd Aug 2007
Posts: 2987
Loc: Birkenhead, United Kingdom
Fantastic happy this was the place i was going to show people on the island when i planned expedition was going to take place ohh and the cave on the other side of the island but i think i dont need to show anybody know lol happy
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#280524 - 5th Jan 2009 2:40am Re: Hilbre Island WW2 Bombing Decoy Bunker [Re: SoundLad]
_jase_
Unregistered


Excellent photos and information, w10694 thumbsup



thanks for Sharing wink

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#280525 - 5th Jan 2009 2:41am Re: Hilbre Island WW2 Bombing Decoy Bunker [Re: ]
Mondeo_Scott Offline
Forum Master

Registered: 14th Aug 2006
Posts: 2875
Loc: Wirral
wow cooool info dude great one for sharin excellent read and great work yipee

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#330563 - 17th Jun 2009 3:06pm Re: Hilbre Island WW2 Bombing Decoy Bunker [Re: Mondeo_Scott]
BMW Joe Offline
Wiki Master

Registered: 30th Apr 2006
Posts: 12369
Loc: Birkenhead
Fantastic, never knew anything about that.

Thanks for sharing
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#330567 - 17th Jun 2009 3:14pm Re: Hilbre Island WW2 Bombing Decoy Bunker [Re: BMW Joe]
MissGuided Offline

Awesome
Wiki Guardian

Registered: 18th Jul 2008
Posts: 9995
Loc: Back of the wardrobe
I never realised there were WW2 artifacts on Hilbre. Still never been grin
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#330568 - 17th Jun 2009 3:14pm Re: Hilbre Island WW2 Bombing Decoy Bunker [Re: BMW Joe]
StuyMac Offline

Wiki Master

Registered: 24th Nov 2003
Posts: 12002
Loc: Wirralshire
Me neither, some great info there happy
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What If There Were No Hypothetical Questions?

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#330574 - 17th Jun 2009 3:38pm Re: Hilbre Island WW2 Bombing Decoy Bunker [Re: StuyMac]
MissGuided Offline

Awesome
Wiki Guardian

Registered: 18th Jul 2008
Posts: 9995
Loc: Back of the wardrobe
never been to hilbre or never knew about ww2 fartyacts?
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#330598 - 17th Jun 2009 6:02pm Re: Hilbre Island WW2 Bombing Decoy Bunker [Re: MissGuided]
Shadow_Omega Offline

Wise One

Registered: 29th Apr 2009
Posts: 871
Loc: Leasowe
i've always wanted to go to Hilbre Island but whenever i did the tide had already come up.

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#330600 - 17th Jun 2009 6:13pm Re: Hilbre Island WW2 Bombing Decoy Bunker [Re: Shadow_Omega]
BMW Joe Offline
Wiki Master

Registered: 30th Apr 2006
Posts: 12369
Loc: Birkenhead
I went there a few months ago and wondered what this;



and this;



were. Now I know smile
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#330636 - 17th Jun 2009 8:40pm Re: Hilbre Island WW2 Bombing Decoy Bunker [Re: SoundLad]
w10694 Offline
Addict

Registered: 31st Dec 2008
Posts: 240
Loc: cheshire
Originally Posted By: SoundLad
Fantastic happy this was the place i was going to show people on the island when i planned expedition was going to take place ohh and the cave on the other side of the island but i think i dont need to show anybody know lol happy


It's your dooty to go and look !

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#330637 - 17th Jun 2009 8:41pm Re: Hilbre Island WW2 Bombing Decoy Bunker [Re: w10694]
w10694 Offline
Addict

Registered: 31st Dec 2008
Posts: 240
Loc: cheshire
With reference to the square concrete block, I'm told that if you dig down, the cables are still there.

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#330639 - 17th Jun 2009 8:48pm Re: Hilbre Island WW2 Bombing Decoy Bunker [Re: w10694]
TRANCENTRAL Offline

Green Meanie
Wiki Master

Registered: 10th Apr 2008
Posts: 13454
Loc: Underground
intresting mate! smile
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