Spyglass Battery

Posted on December 23, 2020 / 97
Listing Type : Land Battery
Location : Gibraltar

Built between 1st April 1896 and 26th June 1899 the battery was armed with six 10-inch Mark II High Angle Fire Guns on Mark IV carriages.  The guns were aligned in a row running North to South.  Maximum elevation of 70 degrees and range of 9,225 yards with a 360-degree arc. The total cost of construction was £9,137.  The battery was intended to engage land targets in Spain.

D.R.F. Pedestals were built at each end of the Battery with Mark 1 special D.R.F.

Observation Stations with Position Finding instruments were located at Martin VI and Devil 1.

The Battery Command Post made use of one of two position finding cells, either Martins or Devils Position Finding Stations.

The magazine and shell store lie each end of the battery and have been cut out of the rock at the same level as the battery.  There is a track running from the shell magazine to the battery.

In 1904 the crew shelters were built.  The design was for four specific casemates, one split between the officers, WOs and Sgts and the other three for the Rank and File.  Returns for 1906 show that there were 2 officers and 80 men for Spyglass Battery.  This was the largest crew contingent of all the batteries, with O’Hara’s Battery having  accommodation for two officers and thirty five men.  The casemates at Spyglass could only accommodate three officers and thirty-six men with the remainder of the crew living in huts on Spy Glass Road.

There was a single telephone, situated in the tunnel, which linked to the two PF Cells (Martins VI for East and Devil 1 for West) and the Fortress Command.

An image from the Imperial War Museum shows that a sound locator was mounted here during World War 2.  It is not believed to have been a success due to the wind currents.

The other High Angle Fire Battery in Gibraltar was at Middle Hill.

The UK National Archives references:

  1. WO 78/5271
  2. WO 192/10
  3. WO 78/3801
  4. WO 78/3886
  5. WO 32/6373

A sound locator was located at Spyglass during World War 2 but did not prove reliable because of the buffeting winds.  For more background on Sound Locators as deployed in Malta see here.  Please click on the button.

The UK National Archives holds the following records in respect of Spyglass.

WO 78/5271

WO 192/10


WO 78/3801

WO 78/3886

WO 32/6373

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