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Booby traps to kill Hitler's soldiers dubbed 'dragon's teeth' uncovered off British coast; The large metal spikes were found on a beach at Minsmere, Suffolk.

Byline: mirror

Booby traps nicknamed 'dragon's teeth' which were planted along the coast to kill Adolf Hitler's Stormtroopers have been uncovered in a storm.

Norman Finch was walking on the beach at Minsmere, Suffolk, when he was shocked to spot huge metal spikes weighing a quarter of a tonne each poking out of the sand.

The local man believes the jagged booby traps were exposed by the 70mph winds of Storm Eric and could rip the flesh of an unsuspecting beach user.

"People do swim off that beach throughout the year," Norman said.

"I was walking along the shore and saw the spiked objects pointing out to sea."

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The 70mph blasts of Storm Erik shifted the sands and revealed the dragon's teeth, which were designed to sink German boats trying to land troops for an invasion in the 1939-45 war.

"It could end up with somebody getting injured," he added.

"I walk there every week but I have not seen them before."

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The spikes were designed to tear and puncture enemy barges full of soldiers.

According to American historian Stephen E. Ambrose dragon's teeth were used by German, British and French forces.

In his 1998 book 'The Victors: Eisenhower and his Boys -- The Men of World War II' he explained how the booby traps were used further in land.

"They rested on a concrete mat between ten and thirty meters wide, sunk in a meter or two into the ground (to prevent any attempt to tunnel underneath them and place explosive charges)," he wrote.

"On top of the mat were the teeth themselves, truncated pyramids of reinforced concrete about a meter in height in the front row, to two meters high in the back.

"They were staggered and spaced in such a manner that a tank could not drive through. Interspersed among the teeth were minefields, barbed wire, and pillboxes that were virtually impregnable by the artillery and set in such a way as to give the Germans crossing fire across the entire front."

While it is not immediately clear who owns the beach, the National Trust looks after nearby Dunwich Heath and Beach.

It would be the responsibility of the landowner to remove the dragons teeth from the sand after consultation with Historic England and archaeologist.

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The spikes are not the first WWII relic to be uncovered by turbulent weather.

In March last year Storm Emma uncovered an unexploded artillery shell on Slapton Sands in Devon, which was the scene of a D-Day rehearsal in 1944.

It was the second weapon from the 1940s to be found on the beach amid the severe weather, after a US M1A1 anti-tank mine was destroyed in a controlled explosion in the same month.

The beach at Slapton Sands was the location for a huge rehearsal for the D-Day invasion of Normandy in 1944.

It ended tragically when hundreds of Americans drowned as the Allied convoy came under attack by German E-boats.

The bomb was buried underground and then uncovered when the strong winds and rains washed away the beach, damaging a road and bringing it much closer to the sea than usual.

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CAPTION(S):

Credit: NORMAN FINCH

The 'dragons teeth' were uncovered in a storm

Credit: NORMAN FINCH

Rows of jagged metal spikes nicknamed 'dragon's teeth' which were planted along the North Sea coast to sink Adolf Hitler's troops have been uncovered by Storm Erik.

Credit: NORMAN FINCH

The spikes weigh up to a quarter of a tonne each

Credit: NORMAN FINCH

The booby traps were laid to stop Storm Troopers invading the British coastline
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Title Annotation:News,UK News
Publication:Daily Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Feb 16, 2019
Words:638
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