It was agreed that anti-motor torpedo boat batteries should not be reduced.
The reduction in personnel in Emergency beach batteries, with the agreement of the Admiralty, was implemented in December 1942. This was achieved by diluting the personnel with the Home Guard and placing some batteries into “care and maintenance”. The savings in personnel in Suffolk were made as follows:
Above: Reductions achieved in Suffolk's Coast Artillery by diluting personnel with Home Guard or placing batteries into "Care and maintenance"
These reductions resulted in cutting the strength of Coast Artillery to 28,300, leaving a shortfall of 3,300 to reach the ceiling demanded by the War Office of 25,000. Commands were asked to make further reductions but an additional saving of only 55 officers and 1,805 other ranks could be recommended. Eastern Command suggested a further 72 other ranks as part of this reduction (which in Suffolk included 24 from Pakefield battery).
Despite this, in January 1943 the War Office still insisted on the full reduction to 25,000. By February 1943, the final reductions of “EBB-TIDE” had reduced the strength of Coast artillery to 27,800. This figure now included some reductions in batteries at Major Defended Ports.
EBB-TIDE No. 2
Further consideration resulted in another reduction of 1,858 (“EBB-TIDE No. 2”), leaving a final deficit of 942. To obtain this final saving, it would undoubtedly mean further cuts from South Eastern Command. The GOC South Eastern Command protested at this reduction, stating that he had already contributed considerably to “EBB-TIDE” and pointing out that the stretch of coast he was responsible for was most likely to be threatened by invasion and raids. He considered he could only a further reduction providing there was no longer any requirement to repel an invasion and that all raids were no longer to be repelled, but only those that would do damage to vital installations. The Commander-in -Chief Home Forces agreed, and considered that the small gain of making the further saving of 942 would be outweighed by the loss in efficiency of South Eastern Command’s Coast Artillery. If pressed by the War Office, he would suggest that the savings should be made from super heavy railway guns instead.
By 1944, most of Suffolk’s remaining Emergency batteries had been handed over to the Home Guard or placed into “care and maintenance”. At the end of the war, all were closed and dismantled* except the Landguard batteries which continued to be part of the Coastal defences until 1956 when Coast Artillery was finally abolished.
* Bawdsey is the only Emergency battery in Suffolk that survived being demolished and today it is still more or less intact although the CASL’s and some pillboxes have recently succumbed to coastal erosion.
Reductions in Coast Artillery, TNA