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Report - East tilbury AA battery 12/1/08

Discussion in 'Military Sites' started by outkast, Feb 2, 2008.

  1. outkast

    outkast Guest

    Me, Tamasine and Steve visted this site the same day we went to the east tilbury battery, the AA battery is located on bowater farm appox 1 and half miles north west of coalhouse fort, of all the defences located at east tilbury it was the only one to fire a shot in anger and was in action frequently during the bombing of london by the luftwaffe

    Big thanks to Tam and Steve for sending me the pics they took wich you see below.

    Bowater's Farm was developed as major A.A. gun site originally with 4 x 3.7 inch guns, then later 4 x 4.5 inch guns and finally 4 x 5.5 inch dual purpose guns which could be used in an A.A. role or for coast defence. These guns became part of the Rotor system and were not dismounted until the 1950s, the latter part of its active role was in developing new artilery and munitions.

    The land the emplacement is on is now being leased to some people who keep their horse there and use some of the biuldings as stables, we found the farmer and asked his permission to go down to the emplacements and take some pics wich was fine with him, he also informed us that he owned the east tilbury battery we had visited earlier.

    The first biulding we came to appeared to be some sort of control biulding, wich was a part submerged concrete bunker.

    This had some boards placed across the entrances to stop the horse falling in I geuss.
    Next part we found was a fairly straight forward emplacement of the type seen elsewhere, there were 2 of these
    we then followed a narrow concrete road around to the next emplacement wich we found to be of a tottaly different type, there were 3 of these type, these had a different type of gun mount altogether
    The pit in the middle would have been directly under the gun itself, from the pic below you can see a tunnel runs out from the centre
    this tunnel led to a bunker connected to the outside of the emplacement, inside this bunker were what appeared to be mounts for a generator
    next to this was another long thin mount, now I am not certain what would have been mounted on either of these, but at a geuss I would say these were either electricaly or hydraulicaly operated guns, on the sides of the bunker were holes and brackets wich looked like they carried electric cable or hydraulic lines.
    on the side wall of the bunker was a chimney wich I geuss was a an exhaust to take the genarator gases up the the outlet on the roof
    the emplacemnts had shell storage boxs around the outside and were heavier built than the other type of emplacements.
    we also found what we think was the ammunition store, this was a concrete biulding sunk into the ground

    There were 2 of the first type and 3 of the second type of emplacement, I have read somewhere on the net that during the time this site was used for testing new equipment it was found that the control biulding was biult too close the emplacements and when the guns fired it interfered with the measuring equipment, to get around this another control bunker was biult a resonable distance from the emplacements, I believe to the north of them, by the time we had taken a look around it was getting dark and we decided to call it a day, I may ge back sometime and look for that second control bunker.

    Thats another site ticked off my "to do" list

    thats 2 of the 3 main east tilbury sites done and leaves only coalhouse fort to explore, I am going try and arange something with the people involved in restoring the fort to see if I can get in there, I could take one of the giuded tours but you dont really get to see all the fort has to offer on one of them.

    Hope you enjoyed the report.

    Cheers, Dave.

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