Military Review

They could shoot from the "Rock" - English guns on the heights of Gibraltar

More recently, an interesting article was published on TOPWAR about how Gibraltar or “The Rock” - a rocky cliff - went to the British crown in the south of the Iberian Peninsula, which eventually became ... overseas territory of the United Kingdom, which is disputed by Spain , Gibraltar rock, and a sandy isthmus connecting it to the mainland.

They could shoot from the "Rock" - English guns on the heights of Gibraltar

Gibraltar today: aerial view.

It must be borne in mind that this is not the southernmost point of the Iberian Peninsula, as most thinks, no. The southernmost point of the peninsula is Cape Marroqui, but it is near. In the north, this territory is bordered by Spain (with the city of La Línea de la Concepción) and is actually part of the agglomeration of Algeciras. In the east, Gibraltar is washed by the waves of the Mediterranean Sea, in the south, right in front of it is the Strait of Gibraltar, which separates it from North Africa, in the west is the Bay of Gibraltar. The area of ​​Gibraltar is only 6,5 km². As for the height of the rock, it is 426 meters, that is, in principle, it is not very high.

Airplane DRLO P-3C "Orion" over Gibraltar.

One of the reasons for the dispute between Spain and the UK is (as is often the case) the inaccuracies in the wording of definitions of what Spain actually gave way to Great Britain. The Treaty of Utrecht did not contain any maps or specific descriptions of the territories received by the British Crown, which allows the parties to interpret the “article X” of this agreement, according to which Great Britain had to own the city and castle of Gibraltar along with the port, fortifications and forts. There is a controversial area - on the isthmus and in the area of ​​the forts of Torre del Diablo (Devil’s Tower) and El Molino.

Battery "Queen Charlotte." Here from such guns the British fired on the French and Spaniards in 1727 year.

Spain does not recognize British sovereignty over Gibraltar, since it believes that Great Britain is entitled only to the fortified perimeter of the city, and this treaty does not apply to the rest of the territory. When the British began building barracks for soldiers in 1815 on the isthmus, Spain declared that this construction was illegal. Then, in 1938, during the civil war, Britain went even further and built an airport on the disputed territory. Therefore, the word “frontier” is not used here, and the term “Frontier” has been used since Franco’s time.

Gibraltar. Photo 1886 of the year.

The United Kingdom, in turn, believes that it owns the territory de facto, but the very existence of a dispute over the territorial issue with Spain recognizes. But the Gibraltar Airport Spain and England are shared.

Interestingly, in the 1729 year, according to the Treaty of Seville between England, France and Spain, Britain has an “undoubted right” to a distance of two cannon shots between British and Spanish fortifications, and this territory was now regarded as a “neutral territory”. True, this land is still, in fact, the territory of Gibraltar is not considered.

"Battery Harding" with muzzle-loading guns 1856 year.

Interestingly, Gibraltar is one of the many international offshore zones. So if you register your company here, then ... you will not have to pay turnover taxes. The main thing is that you yourself do not live here, and so ... invest in the island’s bank at least as many billions as you like - you only have to pay a fixed amount once a year, something around 1000 pounds for the prolongation of the contract and that's it!

And this is the already renovated 12.5-inch muzzle-loading rifled gun from Armstrong 1876 of the year. Impressive, isn't it?

However, we are, first of all, interested in, so to speak, the military component of Gibraltar, at least, that everyone has in mind, for who may know about what is inside the rock, dug through underground passages and casemates, like Maasdam cheese. And, it should be noted that the British didn’t fail to turn the secret into the “places of interest” tourist business objects, which are surely visited by numerous tourists, although it is not easy to get to some of them.

Each such weapon was installed on a turning carriage with shelling in 360 degrees.

Let's start with the fact that at the end of the XIX century. in the era of Armstrong's huge muzzle-loading guns of the company, Gibraltar also received such guns. For example, the Harding battery, originally built in the 1859 year, was equipped with just such tools. Then it was abandoned and buried under a layer of sand for many years, so much so that it served as a viewing platform for tourists watching the strait. But in 2010, it was unearthed, they found a weapon buried there and restored it in all its glory. It turned out that her 12.5 inch guns were mounted on it about 1878 year. But then they became obsolete, it was too expensive to dismantle them, and the battery was simply abandoned. And then there everything was overgrown with shrubs, and the wind from Africa covered it with sand!

6-inch gun MK-7 behind the armor shield.

On the very crest of the cliff is installed the so-called “Battery Sorvi-golov”, next to which are also the batteries “Lord” and “O'Hara”. It received its name for the stairs leading to it, which descend down the steep rock on which it stands. And she herself is at such a height and in such a place that her head is really spinning there. After all, all these three batteries are located on the very crest of the Rock of Gibraltar with a magnificent view of the Mediterranean Sea, the bay and the Straits of Gibraltar. The battery is armed with a 9.2-inch gun, one of the three remaining, and the other two are on the batteries "Lord" and "O'Hara." The last battery is the highest point on the cliff - 1,398 feet (426 m). The 9.2-inch guns installed there have a range of 29000 yards, which is enough to fire the strait to Africa.

The shutter guns on the battery "O'Hara."

In 1902, a number of batteries were upgraded by installing 6-inch MK guns. In VII with a firing range of 6000 yards. These guns remained in service during the First World War and the Second. In 1954, the battery ceased to exist, but its 6-inch guns were retained as a tourist site.

Threat from aviation led to the fact that the British army in Gibraltar in 1941 acquired anti-aircraft guns. In particular, the exposure on a White Rock battery shows a 3.7-inch anti-aircraft gun.

3.7 inch anti-aircraft guns in Gibraltar in November 1941.

9.2 inch guns in Gibraltar. Photo of 1942

In the years preceding the Second World War, the British army was armed with high-speed 5.25-inch dual-purpose weapons, that is, they could perform the functions of anti-aircraft guns and fire at sea targets. Their service continued until the 1956 year, when all old coastal batteries were disarmed. Four guns of this type remained only here. It is believed to be the only surviving specimens.

Battery "Princess Anna" with its 5.25-inch guns.

So lovers of military stories and, above all, the coastal artillery on the "Rock" will be what to see, well, and since this is an offshore zone, all the goods here are very cheap! By the way, during the Second World War, Hitler wanted to destroy the fortifications of Gibraltar with fire ... the Dora guns! It was he who was for her number one goal, but Francisco Franco did not agree to let her pass through his territory, although he, too, wanted very much to take Gibraltar away from the British!

Armored tower gun battery "Princess Anna" close-up.

The Levanter battery, in addition to the cannons, had a whole “battery” of rangefinders and even anti-aircraft Bofors, capable of covering the entire “Rock” from above. It was from here that the shooting distance of enemy ships going through the strait was reported. And this is how it looks today, at the moment when clouds start crawling on it.
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  1. Good cat
    Good cat 23 March 2016 06: 21
    Impudent, as usual, pressed something.
  2. X Y Z
    X Y Z 23 March 2016 06: 53
    They wrung out cunningly. They held the so-called referendum, which can be held here, but in the Crimea - it is impossible. wink
  3. sergeyzzz
    sergeyzzz 23 March 2016 07: 29
    Crimean Tatars should be sent there, let there muddy the water.
    1. baudolino
      baudolino 23 March 2016 09: 12
      For some money, the Chubarovites can easily arrange an energy block).
  4. Aleksandr72
    Aleksandr72 23 March 2016 07: 32
    And this is the already renovated 12.5-inch muzzle-loading rifled gun from Armstrong 1876 of the year. Impressive, isn't it?

    To be honest, I am much more impressed by the fact that while the "enlightened navigators" continued to exploit from the muzzle charging monsters with a cunning system of rifling, and even different types - Armstrong, Lancaster, Whitworth and Pemberton (the latter developed the most successful scheme for remaking old smooth-bore guns - such as Rodman's "bottles" in rifled ones), in bast shoes Russia has already adopted rifled breech-loading guns - first with a channel of the 1867 model, then the 1877 model (where the leading copper belts on shells, used until now, were first used) - and both systems were created by the Krupp concern based on the development of Russian artillery officers from the Artkom GAU. And in Britain the first truly workable rifled guns of the Armstrong system appeared only in 1885, when four 12-inch guns were installed on the battleship Colossus.
    And in Russia, such weapons were already in full swing - in the picture there is a 280-mm coastal cannon of the 1867 sample from the exposition of the Museum of Artillery in St. Petersburg (this is what Leningrad wants to write):
    1. kalibr
      23 March 2016 07: 37
      And the British are generally very conservative people. A sink with a cork and a bathtub without a shower is the theme of jokes about the English from the time of Agatha Christie and ... until 2000.
    2. Chiropractor
      Chiropractor 23 March 2016 13: 56
      Quote: Aleksandr72
      in laponny Russia

      Bast shoe is primitive, but simple and cheap, and at that time, bast shoe was the best option for mass shoes for these conditions. For torment with shoes, see, for example, materials on the supply of World War 1914-1918.

      PS The T-34 was also "bast shoe" ...
      1. Profan
        Profan 24 March 2016 09: 53
        Bast shoes are the first sneakers!
    3. voyaka uh
      voyaka uh 24 March 2016 19: 16
      "... much more impressive is the fact that so far
      the "enlightened sailors" continued
      exploit charging monsters from the muzzle "///

      This is the problem of the undisputed leader. Is called "to rest
      on laurels. "At that time they were so ahead of
      the sea of ​​all rivals that periodically "fell asleep", forgetting
      about the inevitability of rapid rearmament.
    ALEA IACTA EST 23 March 2016 07: 43
    These guns at one sight terrify.
  6. tundra
    tundra 23 March 2016 07: 45
    Something they are in no hurry to return Gibraltar, Spain.
    1. kalibr
      23 March 2016 07: 51
      Why would they return it? This is a gorgeous offshore zone and the benefits from it are both the British and Spaniards.
    2. parusnik
      parusnik 23 March 2016 08: 00
      Something they are in no hurry to return Gibraltar, Spain.... Gibraltar citizens are British and EU citizens. Spaniards travel to Gibraltar to earn money. Gibraltar is a member of the European Union through UK membership. In 1973, Great Britain joined the EU along with Gibraltar. Gibraltar is not covered by the common EU agricultural policy, Schengen agreements, nor is it the common customs territory of the EU, so there is no VAT. Since 2004, residents of Gibraltar can participate in the European Parliament elections. They have their own football team ..
  7. parusnik
    parusnik 23 March 2016 07: 53
    It was he who was her number one goal, only Francisco Franco did not agree to let her pass through his territory... But this, not the merit of Franco .. The English, subtly and delicately hinted to Francisco, just try to agree ... And Francisco became in a pose in front of Adolf .. Thank you for an interesting excursion ...
    1. Alexey RA
      Alexey RA 23 March 2016 10: 59
      Quote: parusnik
      But this, not the merit of Franco .. The English, subtly and delicately hinted to Francisco, just try to agree .. And Francisco became in a pose before Adolf.

      Franco didn’t have to hint - Spain then imported food from America. And then master of two americas - USA - in 1941, they clearly and unambiguously supported Britain, famously violating all the rules of neutrality.
      If Spain enters the war on the Reich’s side against US-backed Britain, food supplies are cut off. And in an already devastated civil war and undernourished country, a real famine begins, because the Reich does not have free grain (the Germans have tight grain with food). The Germans in 1941 even included Soviet grain in the Reich's food balance, which they planned to take away in the occupied territories.
      In particular, from the USSR, in any situation and any mood of the local population, it is expected to receive 2.5 million tons of grain, which the USSR promised Germany from the 1941 harvest and which are already included in the Reich's food balance (without them in any way), 3 million tons of grain per army food (if you drag it from the Reich, there is not enough rail capacity) and about 2 million tons more for Germany’s obligations to Romania, Hungary and others. Total approximately 8 million tons of grain.

      So Franco showed miracles of diplomatic balancing act, putting forward unacceptable demands for his participation in Operation Felix (such as the transfer of most of the French colonies in North Africa). He seemed to give his consent, but it would have cost the Reich more than a refusal. So the "Felix" was released on the brakes.

      The Reich leadership, of course, was not enthusiastic about this position of Franco, but the caudillo caved in time, sending División Azul to the Eastern Front (and at the same time cleaning the country immediately from the right radicals from the Phalanx and from the left underground members - the latter entered the division for order to get into the USSR).
      1. parusnik
        parusnik 23 March 2016 11: 52
        There is still a nuance, through Spain, and vichy France, there was a transit of strategic raw materials and goods delivered from neutral states and the USA, including to Germany ... This is another reason ... why the Reich didn’t put pressure on Spain ...
        1. Alexey RA
          Alexey RA 23 March 2016 13: 06
          Well, yes, the only one of the neutrals with direct access to the Atlantic, far from the shores of Britain and normal ground communications with the Reich.
    2. kenig1
      kenig1 23 March 2016 15: 18
      The British were in no position to hint.
      1. Alexey RA
        Alexey RA 23 March 2016 16: 05
        Quote: kenig1
        The British were in no position to hint.

        For Spain - just that. For Spain in 1941 can be described as "a country with big problems" - even in comparison with 1941 Britain. smile
        Franco did not even control the entire territory of Spain - here are the undeveloped leftists, nationalist separatists, and other joys of the recently ended Civil.
  8. andrey-ivanov
    andrey-ivanov 23 March 2016 11: 58
    while the "enlightened sailors" continued to exploit from the muzzle charging monsters with a cunning system of rifling, and even different types - Armstrong, Lancaster, Whitworth and Pemberton

    "British scientists" are irreparable wassat
  9. The comment was deleted.
  10. andrey-ivanov
    andrey-ivanov 23 March 2016 12: 01
    while the "enlightened sailors" continued to exploit from the muzzle charging monsters with a cunning system of rifling, and even different types - Armstrong, Lancaster, Whitworth and Pemberton

    "British scientists" are incorrigible wassat And the article is positive definitely. Thank you.
  11. xan
    xan 23 March 2016 15: 58
    liked the photo of the rock of 1886
  12. Lebedev Sergey
    Lebedev Sergey 23 March 2016 18: 51
    Airplane DRLO P-3C "Orion" over Gibraltar.

    P-3C "Orion" patrol aircraft, not DRLO.