Maunsell Sea Forts

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With Great Britain facing threats from both air and sea during World War II, many defensive plans were devised - among them the resumption of the building of sea forts. Sea forts offered offshore gun emplacements that could defend the seas and the skies as a first line of defence.

Navy engineer Guy Maunsell - who gave his name to the forts - devised the method of construction and the overall design of each of the forts. Each 'fort' actually consisted of 7 individual towers, linked by walkways. Some housed gunnery emplacements - deploying Bofors guns against enemy shipping. Some hosted anti-aircraft guns while one was reserved for searchlights.

Today, only 2 of the forts remain in any semblance of being. Decommissioned in the 1950s, the forts quickly fell into disrepair. Shipping accidents claimed two of the forts (and four lives) while nature's gentle sawing rendered 3 of them so unsafe as to warrant demolition. 

Redsand Fort is the one remaining fully intact forts - with all 7 stations intact and still accessible to intrepid explorers (although highly unsafe due to corrosion of the ladders).

Shivering Sands Fort is now the home of The Principality of Sealand - the self-declared 'nation' established during the 1960s.

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Author: Ian Freud   |  Last updated: 24th April 2013 | © Weird Island 2010-2019
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