Forts, Fortifications, Citadels etc.

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buffnut453

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Jul 25, 2007
Cambridgeshire, England
There were a few posts on the Ukraine thread about forts and fortresses and some thought it might be a good idea to create a separate thread...so here goes.

Please post your pics/stories about defensive fortifications in here. They can be of any era and any topic from a castle down to a pillbox. If there are stories associated, then so much the better...whether they be a personal association or just a fond memory from a holiday/vacation.

I'll kick things off with a trip I made a few weeks ago to Fort Purbrook, one of the Victorian defensive forts (often known as "Palmerston's Follies") placed on Portsdown Hill to protect Portsmouth from landward attack. A great x4 uncle was posted there in 1889 as part of the South Lancs Regt and was arrested, and imprisoned for 30 days, for assaulting a police officer and a local man. Today, the Fort is operated as an outward bound activity centre for kids. We were able to get a 2-hr private guided tour, which was simply AWESOME! Here are a few pics.

First up, here's an overview of the Fort courtesy of t'interwebbythingy. The lower right corner is pointing south towards Portsmouth:
Fort Purbrook 1 - William Haselden Stationed Here 31 May-13 Sep 1889.jpg


Main entrance located on the far side of the pointy-out section to the right of the above image:
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View over Portsmouth from the main entrance:
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Barrack room near the main entrance where the soldiers would have been billeted:
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Interior of the pointy section which was used as officers' quarters. The soldiers' barrack rooms are on the right, with windows so the officers could see if trouble was occurring. The white paint on the lower walls was to help find doorways in the dark:
PXL_20220614_094524329.jpg


One of many tunnels under the fort. This was used as the brig and, given my relative's track record, it's likely he knew this area intimately. Today, this area is used as a kindergarten, with the cells converted into small classrooms for a teacher plus a few children:
PXL_20220614_103039729.jpg


Another of the long underground tunnels that connect the outer battlements and the magazines to the soldiers' barracks:
PXL_20220614_103553567.jpg


Surviving winch and tray, located at the bottom of an open spiral staircase, for lowering ammunition into the magazines:
PXL_20220614_110525056.jpg


View up the spiral staircase:
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One of the many gun positions (note the heavy anchor eyelets in the wall) with the main gun opening now bricked up. Originally, these were fitted with iron plates to prevent fire entering the gun position:
PXL_20220614_105420489.jpg


View of the interior "moat" area with criss-crossing arcs of fire to prevent any attacking force from gaining a foothold within the fort boundary. Today, it's used as a laser tag range (how cool is that?):

PXL_20220614_105730969.jpg


There are additional defences on the roof of the fort, some of which are more modern. Here a are few pics, together with the most excellent view:
PXL_20220614_113256055.jpg


PXL_20220614_113330161.jpg


And, finally, a view across the terrain that the fort was built to defend against. It doesn't look very hostile today:
PXL_20220614_113322257.jpg



There is a museum in one of the other Palmerston Forts on Portsdown Hill but I really liked seeing the rather rough-and-ready nature of Fort Purbrook, particularly given its family association.

Over to other Forum members to add their pictures/memories/stories.
 
INSIDE JAPANESE BLOCKHOUSE PILLBOX 1944 SAIPAN

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INSIDE JAPANESE BLOCKHOUSE PILLBOX 1944 SAIPAN

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CAPTURED JAPANESE CAVE ASLITO AIRFIELD 1944 SAIPAN

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INSIDE JAPANESE PILLBOX ON BEACH 1944 SAIPAN PTO

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Perhaps interesting is that the Germans had a kind of Ikea catolog book where every type of bunker/pillbox was described and had an order list of material needed with it. So after it was decided how a piece of land was to be defended it was easy to get going. They called it standigen bau. Will later be posting some of it but for now


images (15).jpeg
 
British WW2 defences were also produced to standard designs which would then be adjusted to suit local needs and available construction materials during the rush to build them in 1940/41. Well referenced article here

The Pill Box Study Group have a website with much information

You also find common designs for WW1 & 2 coastal defence gun positions and related searchlights around pors and harbours.

And another aspect of port defence was the indicator loops that required their own buildings

There is also the Fortress Study Group but you have to be a member

The Osprey Fortress series publications give much information on fortifications around the world during different historical periods. Some 113 titles covering everything from ancient Egypt to Cold War offensive and defensive missile bases.

After the Battle is also a good source of information
 
There were a few posts on the Ukraine thread about forts and fortresses and some thought it might be a good idea to create a separate thread...so here goes.

Please post your pics/stories about defensive fortifications in here. They can be of any era and any topic from a castle down to a pillbox. If there are stories associated, then so much the better...whether they be a personal association or just a fond memory from a holiday/vacation.

I'll kick things off with a trip I made a few weeks ago to Fort Purbrook, one of the Victorian defensive forts (often known as "Palmerston's Follies") placed on Portsdown Hill to protect Portsmouth from landward attack. A great x4 uncle was posted there in 1889 as part of the South Lancs Regt and was arrested, and imprisoned for 30 days, for assaulting a police officer and a local man. Today, the Fort is operated as an outward bound activity centre for kids. We were able to get a 2-hr private guided tour, which was simply AWESOME! Here are a few pics.

First up, here's an overview of the Fort courtesy of t'interwebbythingy. The lower right corner is pointing south towards Portsmouth:
View attachment 675410

Main entrance located on the far side of the pointy-out section to the right of the above image:
View attachment 675390

View over Portsmouth from the main entrance:
View attachment 675392

Barrack room near the main entrance where the soldiers would have been billeted:
View attachment 675397

Interior of the pointy section which was used as officers' quarters. The soldiers' barrack rooms are on the right, with windows so the officers could see if trouble was occurring. The white paint on the lower walls was to help find doorways in the dark:
View attachment 675396

One of many tunnels under the fort. This was used as the brig and, given my relative's track record, it's likely he knew this area intimately. Today, this area is used as a kindergarten, with the cells converted into small classrooms for a teacher plus a few children:
View attachment 675398

Another of the long underground tunnels that connect the outer battlements and the magazines to the soldiers' barracks:
View attachment 675399

Surviving winch and tray, located at the bottom of an open spiral staircase, for lowering ammunition into the magazines:
View attachment 675409

View up the spiral staircase:
View attachment 675401

One of the many gun positions (note the heavy anchor eyelets in the wall) with the main gun opening now bricked up. Originally, these were fitted with iron plates to prevent fire entering the gun position:
View attachment 675404

View of the interior "moat" area with criss-crossing arcs of fire to prevent any attacking force from gaining a foothold within the fort boundary. Today, it's used as a laser tag range (how cool is that?):

View attachment 675408

There are additional defences on the roof of the fort, some of which are more modern. Here a are few pics, together with the most excellent view:
View attachment 675413

View attachment 675415

And, finally, a view across the terrain that the fort was built to defend against. It doesn't look very hostile today:
View attachment 675414


There is a museum in one of the other Palmerston Forts on Portsdown Hill but I really liked seeing the rather rough-and-ready nature of Fort Purbrook, particularly given its family association.

Over to other Forum members to add their pictures/memories/stories.
Reminds me of Gravelines near Dunkerque
1656582556209.png
 
Reminds me of Gravelines near Dunkerque
View attachment 675610

Yep...it's a whole style of fortification that evolved from the old "castle keep and outer wall" style of defence to a more scientifically-designed fortification based on the increasing capabilities of guns. You see them everywhere. The image below shows one in s'Hertogenbosch, Holland. It originally had 5 projecting bastions but one was removed to allow for easier passage of boats along the canals that criss-cross the city.

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Here are a few pics I took when I visited back in 2019 for the 75th anniversary of the town's liberation. The second pic shows the former location of the now-missing 5th projecting bastion:

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Just nearby is this hexagonal armoury that's visible on the satellite image just east of the main citadel:

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Ah, nice thread. I have tons of photos, all taken by myself. Many of them are in the WW2 in my backyard-thread, but I'll dig through the photos later and post some new ones.
 
1944 WWII Secret Saipan Mt Tapotchau Barricade 5th Amphib Official Intel Photo

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