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Monday, August 16, 2010

Fort Rodd Hill II

The primary purpose of the military efforts at Fort Rodd Hill were defensive and during most of the life of the fort the main threat to the Esquimalt-Victoria area was by sea. The batteries pictured yesterday were sited and aimed to defend the approaches by water to this area. The above gun is pictured as placed in the Upper Battery in 1897. Large guns such as this were intended to fire on large ships. To the left are the guns of the Belmont Battery, designed to protect the fort from smaller boats that might slip under the big guns' field of fire. But what if it was night - how would the large guns be aimed? That innocent looking boathouse to the right is a fake. It houses an immense searchlight, one of many that could be rolled out and aimed over the water if needed.
Residents and visitors to Victoria alike will find this site well worth a visit. As noted in the National Historic Sites information brochure,
...Fort Rodd Hill represents all the defensive locations of the V-E (sic Victoria-Esquimalt) Fortress, and was only one of a system of forts and related works. Fort Rodd Hill is one of the world's best preserved - and most complete - examples of its kind, consisting entirely of original structures, with minimal restoration.

3 comments:

Dean Lewis said...

Fantastic that this site has been preserved so well.
The recoil from that cannon must have been immense.

JoJo said...

When I see these coastal defense batteries, I can't help but think what a pity it is that they were never attacked 'back in the day'. They never got to use all the defenses!

Steffe said...

Love the first photo. Very cool.