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

[Linked Image]

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:

[Linked Image]

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):

[Linked Image]

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

[Linked Image]

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:

[Linked Image]

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

[Linked Image]

First sight of the control bunker:

[Linked Image]

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

[Linked Image]

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.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

The diesel generator exhaust vent:

[Linked Image]

The electrical control cable exit, via a steel pipe:

[Linked Image]

The electrical control cable routing:

[Linked Image]

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

[Linked Image]

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

[Linked Image]

To conclude, the Telegraph Station:

[Linked Image]

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

[Linked Image]

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

[Linked Image]

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Re: Hilbre Island WW2 Bombing Decoy Bunker [Re: w10694] #280427
4th Jan 2009 10:44pm
4th Jan 2009 10:44pm
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 308
Prenton
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Doctor_Frick Offline
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Nice pics. Thanks for sharing


Over 5000 years of Wirral History:
Re: Hilbre Island WW2 Bombing Decoy Bunker [Re: w10694] #280429
4th Jan 2009 10:45pm
4th Jan 2009 10:45pm
Joined: Feb 2008
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Wirral
Dava2479 Offline

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This is valuable information with excellent pics to enhance your findings.Excellent stuff mate. thumbsup

Re: Hilbre Island WW2 Bombing Decoy Bunker [Re: Dava2479] #280446
4th Jan 2009 11:17pm
4th Jan 2009 11:17pm
Joined: Aug 2007
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Birkenhead, United Kingdom
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SoundLad Offline

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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


Lee Mills

Re: Hilbre Island WW2 Bombing Decoy Bunker [Re: SoundLad] #280524
5th Jan 2009 2:40am
5th Jan 2009 2:40am

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Excellent photos and information, w10694 thumbsup



thanks for Sharing wink

Re: Hilbre Island WW2 Bombing Decoy Bunker [Re: ] #280525
5th Jan 2009 2:41am
5th Jan 2009 2:41am
Joined: Aug 2006
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Mondeo_Scott Offline
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wow cooool info dude great one for sharin excellent read and great work yipee

Re: Hilbre Island WW2 Bombing Decoy Bunker [Re: Mondeo_Scott] #330563
17th Jun 2009 2:06pm
17th Jun 2009 2:06pm
Joined: Apr 2006
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Birkenhead
BMW Joe Offline
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Fantastic, never knew anything about that.

Thanks for sharing


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Re: Hilbre Island WW2 Bombing Decoy Bunker [Re: BMW Joe] #330567
17th Jun 2009 2:14pm
17th Jun 2009 2:14pm
Joined: Jul 2008
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Back of the wardrobe
MissGuided Offline

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Back of the wardrobe
I never realised there were WW2 artifacts on Hilbre. Still never been grin



Re: Hilbre Island WW2 Bombing Decoy Bunker [Re: BMW Joe] #330568
17th Jun 2009 2:14pm
17th Jun 2009 2:14pm
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StuyMac Offline
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Me neither, some great info there happy


What If There Were No Hypothetical Questions?
Re: Hilbre Island WW2 Bombing Decoy Bunker [Re: StuyMac] #330574
17th Jun 2009 2:38pm
17th Jun 2009 2:38pm
Joined: Jul 2008
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Back of the wardrobe
MissGuided Offline

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Back of the wardrobe
never been to hilbre or never knew about ww2 fartyacts?



Re: Hilbre Island WW2 Bombing Decoy Bunker [Re: MissGuided] #330598
17th Jun 2009 5:02pm
17th Jun 2009 5:02pm
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 871
Leasowe
Shadow_Omega Offline

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i've always wanted to go to Hilbre Island but whenever i did the tide had already come up.

Re: Hilbre Island WW2 Bombing Decoy Bunker [Re: Shadow_Omega] #330600
17th Jun 2009 5:13pm
17th Jun 2009 5:13pm
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 12,369
Birkenhead
BMW Joe Offline
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I went there a few months ago and wondered what this;

[Linked Image]

and this;

[Linked Image]

were. Now I know smile


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Re: Hilbre Island WW2 Bombing Decoy Bunker [Re: SoundLad] #330636
17th Jun 2009 7:40pm
17th Jun 2009 7:40pm
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w10694 Offline OP
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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 !

Re: Hilbre Island WW2 Bombing Decoy Bunker [Re: w10694] #330637
17th Jun 2009 7:41pm
17th Jun 2009 7:41pm
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w10694 Offline OP
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With reference to the square concrete block, I'm told that if you dig down, the cables are still there.

Re: Hilbre Island WW2 Bombing Decoy Bunker [Re: w10694] #330639
17th Jun 2009 7:48pm
17th Jun 2009 7:48pm
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Posts: 13,487
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intresting mate! smile


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