Polish Forces based in Scotland constructed the World War 2 defences whose remains are still evident at Tentsmuir in Fife, on both Tentsmuir beach and hidden within Tentsmuir forest.
The sandy beaches at Tentsmuir would have made an ideal landing location for German invasion troops in 1940. The coast needed defending.
Along with the Polish Forces, locals helped build a system of linear defences as part of the overall plan to protect Britain from enemy invasion. The defences ran north from Leuchars Airfield, also a prime target for attack, to Lundin Bridge.
They included lines of concrete anti-tank blocks, observation towers and pillboxes, all designed to slow down enemy movement inland.
Long, wooden poles stood upright along the coastline to prevent enemy gliders from easily landing behind defence lines. At low tide, some of these poles are still visible at Tentsmuir beach.
The Polish soldiers constructed - and lived in - a camp at Tentsmuir forest. Once they had constructed the defences, many remained to man the guns and patrol the area.
Today little remains of the dismantled camp where the Polish soldiers lived. Look closely, however, and impressed in the concrete wall of an old well you can find the coat of arms of the Polish Army, a lion and an eagle. This survives as a reminder of the Poles who defended the beaches of Fife.
Lech Muszynski recalls the WW2 Polish camp at Tentsmuir forest.
- Defending Scotland - England (mp3)
- Defending Scotland transcript - English (pdf 338k)
- Manouevres - English (mp3)
- Manouevres transcript - English (pdf 335k)
- The Polish Camp at Tentsmuir Forest - English (mp3)
- The Polish Camp at Tentsmuir Forest transcript - English (pdf 343k)
- The Polish Camp at Tentsmuir Forest - Polish (mp3)
- The Polish Camp at Tentsmuir Forest transcript - Polish (pdf 335k)