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Abandoned WWII Sea Forts

Brad Smithfield

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The naval forts were of a different design. They consisted of two cylindrical concrete towers on top of which was a steel platform where two 3.75-inch guns and two 40 mm Bofors guns were mounted. The twin reinforced concrete legs housed the living quarters and were quite spacious. Each fort accommodated approximately 120 men.

The Maunsell Forts were decommissioned in the late 1950s and later used for other activities. In 1953 when a Norwegian ship collided with one of the forts killing four civilians and destroying two of the towers along with guns, radar equipment and supplies, the ruins were considered a hazard to shipping and dismantled in 1959-60.

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The forts were left unmanned for several years. Then during mid 1960s they were taken over by pirate radio stations which continued to broadcast until the Government passed legislation against the pirates forcing them to leave in 1967. One of the forts later became a micronation called the Principality of Sealand.

Today these magnificent remnants of the World War are undergoing renovation, thanks to a consortium called Project Redsands.

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This article has been revised and republished from an earlier article that appeared on Amusing Planet on September 15, 2009.

Brad Smithfield

Brad Smithfield is one of the authors writing for The Vintage News