#ForgottenFriday – The fortification named Dragons Teeth

Ever since the invention of the ‘Tank’ there have been many solutions created to stop them in their tracks. A rather effective, yet simple design is known as Dragon’s Teeth.

Dragon’s Teeth were anti-tank fortifications that were used extensively during World War II. The obstacles were shaped like large square pyramids and were from reinforced concrete and re-bar.[1] Although they did not immobilise tanks or other vehicles very often, they could prove a hindrance to overall progress.[2]

The Dragon’s Teeth were designed to immobilise tanks by lifting their treads off the ground from below, effectively disabling them.[3]

They could also redirect the flow of enemy traffic so that it naturally flows into a planned ambush area. The average Dragon’s Tooth was about 1.2 metres tall and were often used in conjunction with other fortifications such as Metal Hedgehogs. (See our other Forgotten Friday) In attack, Dragon’s Teeth proved to be unsatisfactory and were easily destroyed or removed by army engineers. Still, if deployed in the right quantities, (thousands for example) they could stall enemy forces for quite some time. Many of them were placed closed together to form one large obstacle. Once they have been assembled together – they resembled a row of dragon’s teeth, hence the name.

Dragon’s Teeth were not developed by just one country but were used more by some countries than others. France used large numbers of Dragon’s Teeth in the construction of the Maginot Line. Many Dragon’s Teeth were deployed by the British in preparation for a German invasion and, likewise, German forces placed Dragon’s Teeth rows in the Atlantic Wall.[4]

The Siegfried Line also had huge numbers of Dragon’s teeth placed to stop the allied tanks from entering Germany.

Although Dragons teeth proved effective, it came with some limitations. This being noticed, if a force found its way through, the many tons of concrete and steel no longer had any use in comparison to an easier moveable anti-tank defence system.

Here at Eden Camp we have 5 Dragons Teeth, what vary in size and weigh approximately 750kg each! Dragons Teeth have been used throughout the post war period until modern day too!


[2] https://ww2-history.fandom.com/wiki/Dragon%27s_Teeth

[3]  http://www.lonesentry.com/manuals/german-coastal-defenses/antitank.html

[4] http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/caring/listing/showcase/case-studies/anti-tank-obstacles/