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Last Updated: Tuesday, 19 April, 2005, 17:40 GMT 18:40 UK
Hitler's secret Shropshire plans
Part of Hitler's plans to invade Shropshire
Part of Hitler's plans to invade Shropshire
Secret documents going for auction reveal that Ludlow and Bridgnorth were prime targets in Nazi invasion plans.

The 1940 documents include maps containing strategic sites for attack by the Luftwaffe such as railway stations, power plants and bridges.

Richard Westwood-Brookes, documents expert for auctioneers Mullock Madeley, says when he saw the plans, his jaw "literally dropped".

He says it suggests Hitler may have had Bridgnorth in mind as an invasion HQ.

"These invasion plans are without question some of the most important World War II documents to appear at auction in recent years," said Mr Westwood-Brookes.

The map shows Bridgnorth and lines of communication to villages in the surrounding area towards Ludlow.

"It would seem logical to speculate that Hitler could have considered a safe inland town, far from the urban areas of the West Midlands but served by its own airbase, as some sort of base - especially as it is located right in the middle of the country and would have been sparsely defended.

"It is a chilling map to see when you suddenly realise what was in store for us if those brave boys of the RAF had not won the Battle of Britain," added Mr Westwood-Brookes.

The maps are part of a large section of important documents relating to the two world wars, including a telegram from Mussolini to Hitler announcing the fall of Tobruk in 1942, and an invitation card signed by Hitler.

They go under the hammer at Mullock Madeley's specialist sale of historical documents, autographs and ephemera at the Clive Pavilion, Ludlow Racecourse, on Wednesday.




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See why the Nazis favoured Bridgnorth as headquarters



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