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Report - Fort Campbell, Malta - August 2008

Discussion in 'European and International Sites' started by pauln, Feb 26, 2009.

  1. pauln

    pauln too old to be reckless
    Regular User

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    In Malta there are more old military fortifications than you can shake a stick at. Some date back to the Knights of St John (a chain of watchtowers all around the island and some of the city fortifications) and some are 19th century british forts updated or extended during WW1 and WW2. Many of these forts are occupied still - by government, musuems and private owners (cool house :D ) so finding accessible ones is difficult.

    Fort Campbell seems unusual in being a new build in the 1930s rather than a conversion.

    Text from mellieha.com - "The main scope for the building of Fort Campbell was to protect the approaches for Mellieha and St. Paul’s Bays. That is because there were no defences to protect these two approaches and so, a decision was taken to build a new fort on Il-Blata, at the end of the Selmun promontory. Work started late in 1937. The main characteristic of the British fortifications of the late 19th century was the thick ramparts and ditches. But by this time these characteristics were abandoned in favour of thin walls. Therefore, Fort Campbell was built with a thin wall to resemble the field walls of the surrounding countryside, while the plan was broken up by an irregular trace designed to imitate the pattern of the adjoining terraced fields. Perimeter defence was provided by a number of machine-gun posts placed at irregular intervals and in other places there were few rifle loopholes. Internally, the fort’s buildings were all scattered in order not to create any concentration. 7 The buildings of the fort included the command post, gun emplacements, water tank, direction posts, barrack accommodation and magazines. Its most important structure was the Battery Observation Post (BOP), which was situated roughly in the middle of the area and faced north."

    Overview of the approach to the site
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    I found three gun emplacements. This is the middle one
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    Inside one of the emplacements - ammunition lockers. There was an underground ammunition store here too (which I didn't venture into due to the incredible noise of buzzing insects - either bees or .... more ominously ..... flies attracted to who knows what lying in the dark)
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    Surface buildings (presumably the battery command post)
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    Hmmm this looks instantly interesting - is it a ramp to an underground area.
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    Yep! Leads into a large undergound room (partially collapsed) with a small tunnel leading even further down through a series of doglegs. I didn't venture right in due to the piles of stone (alright .... and a bit of nervousness) but I suspect it carries on for some distance.

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    Few more shots including a view of the surrounding area (nice place to be stationed in the summer)
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    This is an emergency exit from an underground area (possibly linked to the ramp underground you can see in the distance - if so it is bloody big!)
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