I posted about the lighthouse at Fort Casey here but the fort is obviously a lot more than just a lighthouse. It was built to defend Puget Sound and this meant some big gun emplacements. Much like similar emplacements along the west coast, most of the hardware is now long gone but some has been kept in place to show how things once were. The emplacements themselves are pretty substantial and are well maintained by the park team. With the guns gone, you see just how big the space taken up by the guns was.
Meanwhile, a couple of installations are still equipped. One has a gun elevated to the firing position while the other has the mechanism retracted. The complexity of the gearing to raise, lower, elevate and rotate the guns is old school engineering at its best.
Behind the guns are some of the spotting towers. From here the crews would have identified targets and called in the sighting requirements to the gun crews for them to engage. They are painted green to blend in with the background since they would have been a primary target for any invaders. As it happened, no-one came so these forts never engaged any enemies.
I mentioned our trip to Fort Ward in this blog post. The fort was designed to protect the harbor at Bremerton. Therefore, it would not be silly to assume that there had been some form of armaments here. Just like our explorations of the Marin headlands here and Baker Beach here, it turns out that there was a gunnery battery covering the entrance to the harbor. The guns are long gone but the concrete emplacements are still in place. The ground has clearly done its best to try and reacquire control of things. Doorways to lower levels are now partially filled in with earth with just the tops of the doors still showing above ground level.
In the days before radar, there were other techniques that were used for trying to detect inbound enemy aircraft. One of them was the use of sound. Dotted along the southeast coast of the U.K. are a number of locations with devices for focusing sound. One of them is located in the hills above Hythe. This is one of the simpler forms that were used. Despite the age, the contract structure is still in good shape. With the introduction of radar, these sites were redundant but they do provide an insight into the trying of any idea to gain an advantage in another era.
The Marin Headlands provide a great place to enjoy some lovely coastal scenery. They were also a militarily significant location for many years. Protection of the entrance to San Francisco Bay meant that a string of forts were built along the coast here. The high ground provided an excellent base for large guns to take on an attacking fleet. Some of these forts were operational while other emplacements were built just in time to be considered obsolete and they were never finished. Now you can walk through the gun emplacements and imagine what they would have been like when operational.