By the end of 1941, German Tank armour had substantially improved and it was recognized that heavy anti-aircraft guns were the only weapons suitable for engaging the 90 ton German tank (the view that Germany had such heavy tanks at this stage of the war was incorrect but that does not negate the effective anti-tank role these guns would have performed). It was anticipated that such tanks would likely be used to establish a beach head but would not penetrate far inland.
To counter the threat of this new improved armour, heavy anti-aircraft guns were to be redeployed in an anti-tank role on “Stand To” under the Bargain Scheme. In Suffolk, 54th Division was to receive guns from 103 H.A.A Regt, which would assemble in Bedford on “Stand To” before deploying in pre-prepared positions on the Suffolk Coast.
The guns would initially deploy in their anti-aircraft role and be prepared to move into an anti-tank role on orders of the 54 Division. It would take about 20 minutes to come out of the A.A role and another 20 minutes to set up for A.T role plus any time taken to move from A.A positions to A.T positions. Sufficient warning would then be vital. Infantry protection would be found from local commanders of troops under 54th Division command.
The proposed positions were to be:
a) Four guns in the Kessingland-Benacre area to cover anti-tank ditches
b) Four guns to cover the exit from the beach at Sizewell and the approaches to Leiston
c) Four guns to cover the exits from Aldeburgh
d) Four guns to deny the enemy the high ground west of Felixstowe – the railway running south west was in part a suitable anti-tank obstacle.
Bargain scheme - Kessingland - note location of anti- Bargain Scheme - Sizewell
tank ditches estimated from information included in 54th
Div papers and not plotted from aerial photos.
Bargain Scheme - Aldeburgh. Anti-aircraft positions not Bargain Scheme - Felixstowe. Anti-aircraft positions same
given. as anti-tank positions.
54th Division papers, NRA