Thursday, June 30, 2011

A View To Kill (POTD June 30)

A View To Kill

To the east of Vancouver Island is the vast Pacific Ocean, which was an obvious route for attackers to challenge British rule over what is now Western Canada. During the late 1880's the British setup a number of coastal batteries to protect the entrance to Fort Victoria's harbour and Esquimalt, the navel base in the area. One of these fortified areas was Fort Rodd Hill, which had three batteries. The upper battery had a large gun for hitting ships at a distance, while the lower battery had smaller guns for smaller ships. The Belmont Battery was designed to sink ships that attempted to land troops on the shore below the larger batteries. 

During the second world war, due to the threat of possible Japanese attacks along the Pacific Coast, the Canadian army upgraded to the Belmont Battery. The first change was a rapid firing twin 6 pound gun designed to sink submarines and torpedo boats that might attempt to attack the Canadian navel base at Esquimalt. Today's photo is not looking down the sights of the twin 6 pounder guns, but one of the smaller guns at the same battery. The next image is one of the same gun from the other side. One of these guns in the Belmont battery may have been one of the few that were actually fired in anger at a possible Japanese sub that was spotted along the coast of the Island in 1943.