Tuesday, June 21, 2011

WWII bunker/strong point near Darwin

From inside Left HMG turret.

Looking up to the Observation platform from inside the left turret.

Rear view with beach beyon the trees in teh background.

At the Lee Point reserve near Darwin only a short walk from the carpark is this bunker. It is described as an observation post. From the rear it looks like it has an addition since construction of a roof over the middle observation position. Looking closer at a drawing on a sign also shows it as open topped at that point.  The rear view shows how much the view has changed since it was built with a bunch of trees between the Bunker and the sandy Beach. It is easy to imagine that the noise of firing an HMG inside the small rooms would have easily damaged the hearing of those inside the bunker.

The following is written on a sign near the bunker. I do not agree with the text that mentions the HMGs could possibly fire to the rear of this bunker. But look at the pics and judge for yourself.

‘Beach Strong Points’

“This Singapore-type observation post was one of six built during WWII and was an integral part of the coastal defence network. (Four of these are located within the Casuarina Coastal Reserve and two others were located at Dripstone Caves and East Point).
They were completed by the 2/4th Machine Gun Battalion and civilian labour on 15 February 1940, having been built from reinforced concrete sections which were subsequently cemented together. The stone aggregate most likely came from a quarry at the 2 ½ Mile site (so named because it was 2 ½ miles from Darwin). The walls were designed to be thick enough to withstand all but a direct hit from enemy guns.

The actual design and shape of the observation posts were based on military experience with the most important aspect of their design being the angle of side walls to back wall. This allowed each of the two circular turrets to house a Vickers machine gun which was mounted so that it could fire through the slits in front. The side walls of the observation post were set at an angle so that both guns did not look directly forward but could be trained slightly to the rear.
Overland travel between the observation posts was made difficult by the tidal range and mangrove swamps, and in late 1941 a series of corduroy tracks were constructed of mangrove trees. These corduroy tracks were colour coded and instructions were that, “all members of Coys are to be made aware of the colour signs which information they will be instructed to treat as SECRET and will also be instructed not to divulge the information to Civilians.”

1 comment:

  1. Interesting post. These little mini strongpoints have always facinated me. The UK is dotted with different types (especially round the coast) but not all in as good condition as this one.