Dwejra Lines

Posted on January 16, 2021 / 94
Listing Type : Defence Line
Location : Malta

The Dwejra or Dueira Lines were built to enhance the North-West Front which roughly followed the Great Fault.  The Dwejra Lines are about one kilometre in length with a rampart, ditch, six sally ports, six scarp galleries, and one caponier.   There is a wide terreplein behind the ramparts, and this had positions built into it for field howitzers.  The Dwejra Lines were built between 1878 and 1881 and return indicate is was never fully armed.  By the 1890s the Dwejra Lines had been absorbed into the Victoria Lines.

The armament for the Dwejra Lines was originally intended to be:

  • Five 7-inch RML guns of 6.5 tons on depression mounts firing over a 6ft parapet
  • Ten 40-pdr BL guns mounted on over bank siege travelling carriages
  • Ten 8-inch howitzers
  • One SB gun with more intended to be added

In 1882 the armament was changed with a proposal to mount thirty 64-pdr muzzle loading guns on traversing carriages, but this was never followed through.  The following year the armament was further amended to:

  • Five 64-pdrs, presumably in the five pits built for the 7-inch guns
  • Ten 40-pdr RBL guns
  • Ten 8-inch howitzers.

In 1884 yet another review suggested the following armament:

  • Five 7-inch RML guns
  • Five 8-inch RML howitzer
  • Five 40-RBL
  • Six SB BL guns to be placed in the flanking galleries

In 1891 it was proposed to mount three 5-inch Breech Loading guns on Vavassuer Mark II Carriages  These three guns were installed by 1899 roughly in the centre of the Dwejra Lines.

In 1890 a defence electric lights was mounted in a fixed position on the eastern end of the Dwejra Lines and the remains of this position can still be seen.  An underground engine room was built to the rear of the site and remains of this engine room can still be seen although it now part of a farm.  For more background information on Defence Electric Lights click here.

Interestingly this was the first major works in Malta to make use of concrete in the building the ditch.

The UK National Archives Reference

  1. WO 78/3828
  2. WO 78/3828
  3. WO 78/5304
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