Tuesday, 8 February 2022, 10:42
The next stage of the transfer of the 9.2 inch gun to Europa Point, near Harding’s Battery in Gibraltar, is scheduled to take place on 15 February.
At the end of last month the gun carriage and pedestal were moved from the Metalrok Eco Park in Flint Road to a holding and restoration area at Brewery Crusher. Phase two of the operation will involve lifting and transporting the gun barrel, which is much longer and heavier than the pieces which have been moved so far. It is expected to need much larger lifting and transport vehicles, which will need to gain access to the restricted site; the Ministry of Heritage is advising that parking restrictions will be enforced along the access roads while this is going on.
These BL 9.2 inch Mk IX guns first entered service in 1899 and were used as both naval and coastal defence guns. They had possibly the longest, most varied and successful service history of any British heavy ordnance. The 9.2 inch guns were counter-bombardment weapons, designed to defeat ships up to heavy cruisers armed with 8 inch guns. They were deployed in the fixed defences of major defended ports throughout the British Empire until the 1950s.
Up to fourteen such guns were deployed for the defence of Gibraltar during WWI, and eight of them were still in use during WWII. These guns were finally decommissioned during the 1950s. In 1972, the Levant Battery gun pieces were removed by the Royal Engineers to be sold as scrap. A few years later, the entire gun and mounting at Spur Battery was also dismantled, but this time transferred to the Imperial War Museum Duxford in Cambridgeshire, UK, in a military operation which went by the name of Project Vitello.
Fifty years have now passed since these gun pieces were dismantled from Levant Battery and deposited at the scrapyard. During the last twenty years, numerous groups and individuals have campaigned for the restoration of this iconic artillery piece, but with little success until now. The Ministry for Heritage, supported by the Gibraltar Heritage Trust and in collaboration with Metalrok Ltd and Montverde & Sons Ltd, will finally make turn what was once considered a pipe dream into a keenly-awaited reality. The 9.2 inch gun will be transferred to its new site at Europa Point once planning permission has been obtained.
La Voz de Cádiz
Necesitas ser suscriptor para poder votar.