Fort Morbat

Aden, Yemen
Posted on February 12, 2024 / 1
Listing Type : Coastal Fort
Location : Yemen

Fort Morbat or Ras Morbat Fort is built on a plateau overlooking Steamer Point.

An 1844 map of Steamer Point in Aden shows Ras Morbat Fort as a square gun tower, with six barbette emplacements around three sides of it.  West Cliff Battery, with four gun emplacements is shown lying immediately to the East of the tower on the same hill top. This gun tower evolved into the keep for Fort Morbat, while the outlying batteries were extended and incorporated into the larger Fort.

Between 1884 and 1891 the Fort was upgraded to mount disappearing guns on HP mountings, with the original tower becoming the Fort keep.  Observation and plotting for the guns in the Fort was done by the Ahman Khal Position Finding Station which was operation in December 1895.

In May 1896 six Maxim machine guns were delivered to the Fort for mounting in the caponiers to defend the dry ditch.  It is assumed that smooth bore carronades had previously been used.

In 1896 wooden covers were built over the guns to try and reduce the high temperatures in the gun pits during the summer months.  The Old Fort (Artillery Tower) was used to accommodate 14 men who constituted the permanent peace time garrison for Fort Morbat.

In 1898 there were six 6-inch (Mark IV) coastal defence guns in Fort Morbat, and two older 10-inch BL guns. There was also some 6-pdr QF guns.  The gun groups in 1898 were designated as A, B, F, I and L.  The L group was the 6-pdr QF guns.

In 1899 work started on building Defence Electric Lights emplacements at both Fort Morbat and Fort Tarshyne.

In 1901 cordite cartridges were received for the Mark IV, 6-inch BL guns.  By 1903 Lyddite shells had been delivered for the same 6-inch guns.

In 1912 the A Group (10-inch BL guns) were decommissioned.  The following year work started on upgrading the 6-inch Mark IV guns to Mark VII guns.  These 6-inch Mark VII guns were apparently in Groups A, F and I.

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