Now THAT would have been a warm welcome in the hillsides: Sheep farmer reveals how top secret army unit had orders to ‘blow Port Talbot to smithereens’ and start a guerrilla war if the Nazis invaded
- Dillwyn Thomas, 88, was told to mount a guerilla war from the hills
- He was part of the Auxiliary Units who would mount a final resistance against the Germans to hold up their progress
- Ammunition was storied in bunkers on the outskirts of Port Talbot
- Dillwyn kept his task secret from his family for 30 years after the war
- ‘A tiny part of me is disappointed I never got to test my training’, he said
By ROB COOPER
PUBLISHED: 13:03, 3 January 2014 | UPDATED: 13:47, 3 January 2014
A sheep farmer had top secret orders to blow his hometown ‘to smithereens’ during World War II if the Nazis had invaded, he revealed for the first time today.
Dillwyn Thomas, 88, was given instructions on how to start a suicide guerrilla war in the hills around Port Talbot, South Wales.
The pensioner was part of a covert army unit created by Winston Churchill known as the Auxiliary Units.
They were spread across the country in a network of local groups tasked with mounting a resistance against the invaders who never came.
Dillwyn was working as an 18-year-old farm hand when he was shown how to blow the town’s steelworks ‘sky high’.
The pensioner, from Margam, near Port Talbot, has finally revealed the secret mission he was asked to carry out more than 70 years ago.
He said: ‘We were told to blow-up the steelworks – we were told to blow Port Talbot to smithereens.
‘We had access to every weapon you could imagine – daggers for prodding the enemy, guns for shooting the enemy, explosives for blowing up the enemy.
‘They were kept in a secret underground bunker that only we knew about – ready for us in case of invasion.
‘If the Germans had landed and it looked as though they were making inroads we were to blow the steel works, oil refinery, train line, and anything else which could have been of any use to them – then lay low in the countryside.
‘We weren’t meant to fight the Germans head-on – there were nowhere near enough of us to make a difference and we weren’t sufficiently armed.
‘But if we could slow up their progress, then the hope was that we could tie them up with ambushes and booby traps.
‘Of course I’m delighted that it never came to that but I must admit that there’s a tiny part of me which is disappointed that I never got to test my training in battle.’
The Margam Auxiliary Unit was among a network of strategically placed, highly trained fighting groups dotted across the country, tasked with resisting German invasion.
With Port Talbot’s Margam Castle identified as a potential headquarters for German troops, Dillwyn and his fellow unit members were briefed with mounting a final resistance.