In our latest video we take a look at the massive 15 Inch Coastal Guns that protect the port of Mahon in Menorca. The guns, built by the British Vickers company, could fire an 860kg shell up to 35km.
The battery of two 15 or 381mm guns was added to the Fortalesa Isabel II’s emplacements in the early 1930s and were in active service for nearly 80 years. For more information on their history and design, check out the video and full in-depth blog here.
Below are some photographs I took of the battery and its ancillary support buildings. While researching I also found a couple of great contemporary photos.
A facebook group for those who served at Fortales Isabel II has a number of brilliant contemporary photographs of the guns:
These photographs show the guns being transported by a specially laid, segmented rail track in the early 1932s, the first shows the guns at the dockside with another showing it being moved through a busy street.
The group also has some contemporary photographs of the gun emplacements including the rangefinder and the inside of the gun housing:
The gun aimer’s position with communications to the rangefinder bunkers near by:
The group also has some excellent recent photos of the restored interior of the gun turret the magazine below. The first photos show the magazine and system for bringing the 860kg shells up from the projectile store:
Sign reads: ‘Ordinary projectiles will only be used with reduced load‘
Great shot of the various tracks, winches and lifts used to get the massive shells up to the turret:
Interior shot of the turret with a shell ready to be winched onto the loading tray and loaded into the breech:
View of the gun aimer’s positions complete with shining brass speaking tubes and controls:
For more information on the history and design of the guns, check out the video and full in-depth blog here.
Please do not reproduce photographs taken by Matthew Moss without permission or credit. ©The Armourer’s Bench 2018.