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Report - Hoxa Head Coastal Battery

Discussion in 'Military Sites' started by DarkShadow, Jan 13, 2008.

  1. DarkShadow

    DarkShadow Guest
    Guest

    Well I'm up here in the Orkneys exploring the remains of the German Fleet and during a day off to decompress we nipped up to the Coastal Battery at Hoxa head and there's a lot to see there. Obviously the guns have gone but the rings are still there.

    During the Second World War the Balfour Battery, which included gun and searchlight emplacements and observation towers, was constructed on Hoxa Head. It overlooked one of the main approaches to Scapa Flow, a major strategic base for the British Navy during both World Wars.

    A large coast battery is situated on clifftops at the northern part of Hoxa Head overlooking the Sound of Hoxa, the main southern marine approach to Scapa Flow.

    The battery consists of two gun emplacements with two storey observation towers about 7m to the rear, a magazine, engine room and 70m E upslope, the remains of the accommodation camp. All the standing buildings are of reinforced shuttered concrete and steel beams or stone and concrete.
    The gun-emplacements are cut into the slope which has been revetted at the rear with stone and both have small magazines on the S side. Three searchlight emplacements are ranged along the top of the cliff from the light beacon to a point about 70m to the NE.

    All that remains of the accommodation camp are at least ten concrete hut bases, two of which has been artificially raised on concrete supports.
    About 80m NE of the northern gun-emplacement is a stone and concrete engine room and 42m SE of the southern emplacement is the main magazine.
    The coast battery was armed with two 12-pounder guns in April 1940, then re-armed with twin 6-pounder guns and the 12-pounders removed.

    Designated by the War Office 137 Battery and manned by 533 regiment.

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    Although not really Urban Exploration I thought I would add a photo of an Anti Aircraft Gun that I took which was on the German Destroyer F2 that sank in Scapa Flow. If people would like to see some of the photos that I've taken of the wrecks of the German Fleet I can upload some.

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    I have been travelling up the coast of a lot of the Islands and there's the remains of the old Royal Navy Headquarters that has been winking at me so on another day I will nipping up there to see what's up there. I understand that the map of Europe is still on the floor.

    Steve
     

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