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July xx,  2011

Towers at the seashore
are World War II relics

Some visitors to the Delaware coast wonder about the string of concrete towers that stretches along the beach south of Cape Henlopen.

They are remnants of a World War II defense system centered on Fort Miles, an Army post which occupied the ground that is now Cape Henlopen State Park. A small portion of the fort is being restored as an historic site.

Observers in the towers were to direct the big coast artillery guns mounted in the fort to targets in Delaware Bay. The remains of some of the bunkers are visible today to vacationers using the beaches.

As it happened, no enemy ships ventured to challenge the defenders. With what remained of the German surface navy bottled up on the European continent, U-boats were the only weapons available.

While they were effective -- particularly in the early months of the war -- against oil tankers and other merchant vessels along the U.S. Atlantic coast, their captains knew better than to enter the bay where relatively shallow depth offered little sanctuary.

When Germany surrendered in May, 1945, two submarines were on station on this side of the ocean. Escorted by intercepting U.S. destroyers, they came into American ports. One landed at Lewes and proved to be the last effective German military unit to give up.

 

 

Contrary to what you hear on the radio, the principal city in Delaware is WilmingTON, not WilmingTIN.

The city and other municipalities have fixed boundaries and, despite what the traffic reports say, Wilmington has no Talleyville, Bellefonte nor Richardson Park section.

 

 

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