A Very Dangerous Locality
The landscape of the Suffolk Sandlings in the Second World War
Author: Robert Liddiard, David Sims
£20 £16.00 (free p&p)
“This is a wonderful book, a welcome combination of accessible, affordable and learned. It sets a high bar not only for regional studies of militarised landscape, brilliantly combining archival research with field survey, but for landscape archaeology in general. Many readers will appreciate the skill with which the authors have made a complex landscape easier to comprehend. The book's greatest achievement however, and the reason it should be read beyond a conflict archaeology audience, is the impressive way the authors engage with and present landscape, a fluid and ever-changing form which always has more to reveal. I no longer live in east Suffolk, but I cannot wait to go back, and will take this book with me when I go.”
About the book
Winner of the History and Tradition category of the East Anglian Book Awards
“This is a magnificent book. The authors are entitled to regard it as a ground-breaking study not only because its foray into twentieth century landscape archaeology highlights a topic only just coming into view, but also because it is on a colossal scale, breathtaking in its in-depth coverage of the topic and the area during the Second World War. Furthermore, although it is exceptionally detailed and at times highly technical, it is also extremely well written and completely accessible to the historian and lay person who has an interest in landscape and military history, World War Two and the story of this part of East Anglia’s coastline.” Paul Rusiecki, The Local Historian
“Rich with first-hand accounts, photos and colour figures showing deployments, Dangerous Locality offers a sophisticated yet accessible analysis – better than anything else I’ve read – of the frantic scramble as Britain faced invasion in 1940–41. With hindsight we know this never came to pass; but the perception at the time was very different, and that’s the point.” Paul Stamper, British Archaeology
“[P]rovides a distinctive perspective, both methodological and geographical, on the defence of Britain. By taking an interdisciplinary landscape approach to one particular stretch of coastline — between Lowestoft and Harwich — the high chronological as well as geographical resolution of the data creates a particularly rich, contextualised case study.” Harold Mytum, Post-Medieval Archaeology
“[W]hat really happened in the Sandlings during the Second World War has been uncovered by researchers at the University of East Anglia and is recorded by two of them in this fascinating book. To some of us this is somewhat recent history, but it is no less engrossing for having occurred ‘only the day before yesterday’.” Robert Maltster, Proceedings of the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology and History
“This is an extremely well structured, clearly explained and meticulously researched book. The authors provide many startling insights into the processes of interaction between human activity and the natural topography of the region. It is lavishly illustrated with many beautifully reproduced photographs and very useful maps which are clearly drawn and easy to interpret. There is also an extensive bibliography giving a full list of primary as well as secondary sources. At 363 pages it is not a quick read but it is an enjoyable one and its information has enriched our understanding of this aspect of local history considerably.” Nick Sign, The Suffolk Review
This book examines the landscape archaeology of the Second World War on the section of the east coast of England known as the Suffolk Sandlings (the coastal strip from Lowestoft to Felixstowe), an area unusually rich in military archaeology. It was in the front line of Britain’s defences against invasion throughout the war and as a training ground it was the setting for nationally important exercises in the lead-up to the D-Day landings.
In 1944 it also played a major role in Operation ‘Diver’, the defence against the flying bomb. The Sandlings is therefore an ideal testbed for much wider questions about the militarisation of the landscape during the Second World War.
ISBN: 978-1-912260-08-9 Format: Paperback, 384pp Published: Nov 2018
Contact us at UH Press if you have any queries or would like to find out more about this book.