Home Page Photos
Members are invited to send any interesting fortification photos they have taken to firstname.lastname@example.org for use on the home page gallery. The top banner image is of Fort Ronce on the French-Italian border and was taken by FSG member Mike Brock.
All images below are links to higher resolution copies.
Fort Belgica (Simon Pratt)
The Banda Islands of the East Indies were the world's only source of nutmeg, and confrontation between the Dutch and English for control of these Spice Islands led to a series of fortifications being constructed during the C17th. Fort Belgica was built to a standard quadrilateral design with angled corner bastions in 1611 by the Dutch in order to fortify the hill above Fort Nassau, their main Banda Islands fortress. Earthquake damage led to a unique reconstruction, completed in 1673, with the new pentagonal design consisting of a low outer wall with five angled bastions and a higher inner structure with five tall circular towers. Despite an armament of 50 guns and a garrison of 400 men, the fort surrendered to a British fleet in 1796 without resistance. Reverting to Dutch control in 1803, it was stormed by sailors and marines of the Royal Navy under Captain Cole in 1810, who, turning its guns on Fort Nassau below, secured the surrender of the entire Dutch administration. For more information go to: spiceislandsforts.com
Balfour Twin 6pdr Battery, Orkney (Charles Blackwood)
One of eight twin six pounder batteries on Orkney, Balfour Battery was completed with additional overhead protection in 1941. The battery survives today almost intact with gun pits, director towers, magazines and searchlight emplacements. The twin six pounder was developed between the wars to provide defence against fast moving torpedo boats, allowing a greater rate of fire than was possible with the 12 pounder. The gun was semi-automatic but hand-loaded with individual cartridges. An efficient crew could achieve over 80 rounds per minute.
Fort Lovrjenac, Dubrovnik (Richard Ashmore)
Built on a rocky promontory just west of the walls of Dubrovnik, Fort Lovrjenac protected the original harbour. The structure dates from the 11th century but was much modified in the 15th and 16th centuries. The walls facing the sea are up to 40 feet thick, but in order to avoid the fort being used against the city, the east wall is only two feet thick. More recently the fort has been used as an open air theatre and wedding venue.
Fort Tolukko, Spice Islands (Simon Pratt)
Initially built by the Spanish in 1611 on the clove island of Ternate in the East Indies, Fort Tolukko was separated from the main Spanish fortress at Kastella by the new Dutch fortress of Fort Orange. Sited on the coast as it was, and with the Dutch much more powerful at sea, it proved impossible for the Spanish to hold Fort Tolukko, and it was abandoned to the enemy the year after it was commissioned. The Dutch took control, but soon handed the little work over to Ternate's Sultan, who extensively rebuilt it in local style as his personal fortified residence. Hence its current format reflects nothing of its European heritage, but is a curious example of indigenous fortress design. Refurbished in the 1990's, it is one of five Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch and local fortifications able to be inspected today. For more information go to: spiceislandsforts.com
York Redoubt, Halifax (Alastair Fyfe)
York Redoubt was originally constructed in 1793 to protect Halifax from attach by French warships, and included a Martello Tower. In the latter half of the 19th century the battery was rebuilt and armed with rifled muzzle loaders. Today a series of 9in RMLs remain mounted on original carriages in their emplacements. There are also a number of un-mounted artillery pieces on display at the site including three 10in, two 9in and four 7in RMLs. During the second world war the redoubt served as the command centre for the harbour defences, which included an anti-submarine net and minefield.
Carmarthen Stop Line, Wales (Simon Barrass)
The Carmarthen Stop line runs from the beach near Burry Port, north to Carmarthen (passing to the west of the town), then continuing north to the coast near Llangrannog, cutting off access to south Wales from Pembrokeshire. It was designed to check the advance of German forces invading Wales from Eire, the Pembrokeshire coast lying 50 miles from Rosslare Harbour. The line consists of a combination of pillboxes, anti-tank obsticles (such as cubes, rails and ditches) and other defensive structures. Due to the rural setting of most of the stop line and lack of development pressure much still survies today hidden in the undergrowth.