Esquimalt Area De­fenses

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Al­bert Head Bat­tery (1939 - 1956), Al­bert Head, near Metchosin

Three 9.2-inch MK10 guns on MK6A mounts, and two search­lights, were lo­cated here. Two of the guns were trans­ferred from Sig­nal Hill Bat­tery, and the third gun was added in 1944. An AA bat­tery was also here. This site was also used as a look­out post since 1878 for Macau­lay Point and other bat­ter­ies. Site still ex­ists, no public ac­cess. Lo­cated at the Al­bert Head Naval Train­ing Cen­tre, CFB Esquimalt. In 1942 the Vic­to­ria-Esquimalt Fortress Com­mand Post was moved from Mary Hill to Tri­an­gle Moun­tain, just north of Al­bert Head, and was also used as a bat­tery ob­ser­va­tion post for Al­bert Head Bat­tery. It was de­mol­ished in 2011 when the hill was lev­eled for a new hous­ing de­vel­op­ment.

Black Rock Bat­tery (1893 - 1956), Esquimalt

Two 12-pounder quick-fir­ing MK1 AMTB guns were lo­cated here. One search­light was lo­cated here in WWII. The guns were trans­ferred to Golf Hill Bat­tery in 1940 but were later re­placed. In 1956 the bat­tery be­came a Naval train­ing bat­tery with two 3-inch gun tur­rets. Site still ex­ists, but no public ac­cess ex­cept by guided tour of base.

Christo­pher Point Bat­tery (1941 - 1944), Christo­pher Point, south of Wil­liam Head

Two Amer­i­can-made 8-inch M1888 rail­way guns dis­mounted on M1918 barbette car­riages were lo­cated here, as well as an AA bat­tery. Amer­i­can crews pro­vided tech­ni­cal sup­port only. Bat­tery site still ex­ists, but no public ac­cess. Lo­cated at the Rocky Point Naval Es­tab­lish­ment. To the west at Church Hill was the naval sig­nal sta­tion (still ex- tant). Two fire-con­trol tow­ers were lo­cated at Church Hill (still ex­tant) and at Beechey Head.

Duntze Head Bat­tery (1893 - 1945), Duntze Head, Esquimalt

Two 12-pounder quick-fir­ing guns and two search­lights were lo­cated here from 1893 - 1938. In 1939 they were re­placed with one 6-pounder twin quick-fir­ing gun and one search­light. A 75mm gun was tem­po­rar­ily here be­fore the 6-pounder was em­placed. The har­bor mine com­mand was here 1900 - 1905. No public ac­cess ex­cept by guided tour of base.

Fin­layson Point Bat­tery (1878 - 1893), Bea­con Hill Park, Vic­to­ria

Two naval ri­fled muz­zle-load­ing guns were lo­cated here. Dur­ing WWII two search­light po­si­tions were lo­cated at nearby Clover Point.

Fort Rodd Hill (Na­tional His­toric Site) (1893 - 1956), Fis­gard Point, near Esquimalt

This fortress fea­tures un­der­ground mag­a­zines, a com­mand post, bar­racks, ar­tillery stores, and three gun bat­ter­ies: Up­per Bat­tery, Lower Bat­tery, and Bel­mont Bat­tery. The Lower Bat­tery (1895 - 1942) had two 6-inch MK6 guns on MK4 dis­ap­pear­ing car­riages. Also here is a 6-inch quick-fir­ing naval gun (1923 - 1940). A 40mm AA gun was on the #1 gun po­si­tion in WWII. The Up­per Bat­tery (1895 - 1941) had one 6inch MK6 gun (still here) on a MK4 dis­ap­pear­ing car­riage (no longer ex­ists). Bel­mont Bat­tery (1900 - 1956) is an An­tiMo­tor Tor­pedo Boat bat­tery that had two 12-pounder MK1 quick-fir­ing guns. In 1944 both guns were re­placed with one twin-bar­reled 6-pounder MK1 gun that had a higher rate of fire. It was re­moved af­ter the war. The 12-pounder gun now on site came from the Royal Cana­dian School of Ar­tillery, CFB Shilo, Man­i­toba, on loan to Parks Canada. The twin 6pounder now on site came later from Nor­way. A rangefinder tower is also lo­cated at Bel­mont Bat­tery. Another 40mm AA gun was also lo­cated in the fort in WWII. The WWII Fortress plot­ting room and two search­light po­si­tions (#1 and #7) are here. The Fortress Ob­ser­va­tion Posts as­so­ci­ated with the plot­ting room were lo­cated at Church Hill (Smythe Head), Mary Hill (Wil­liam Head), Al­bert Head, Tri­an­gle Moun­tain, Sig­nal Hill, Gon­za­les Hill (Wa­ban Park in Oak Bay), and at Mount Tolmie. Only the FOP at Gon­za­les Hill is still ex­tant. A unique fea­ture of Fort Rodd Hill is ev­i­dent with the rear­fac­ing con­crete walls with ri­fle-slits at both the Up­per and Lower Bat­ter­ies. A har­bour boom de­fence and an an­ti­sub­ma­rine net were lo­cated here be­tween Fis­gard Point and Duntze Head in WWII. Ad­mis­sion fee. The Fis­gard Light-

house was built in 1859, mak­ing it the first per­ma­nent light­house on the Cana­dian Pa­cific coast.

Golf Hill Bat­tery (1940 - 1944), Esquimalt

Two 12-pounder quick-fir­ing AMTB guns were lo­cated here, trans­ferred from Black Rock Bat­tery. A search­light po­si­tion (two lights in sep­a­rate con­crete em­place­ments) was lo­cated nearby at McLough­lin Point. The bat­tery still ex­ists, but no public ac­cess. The two search­light em­place­ments still ex­ist (no public ac­cess, but can be viewed at close range from ad­ja­cent public land).

Jor­dan River WWII De­fenses (1940's), Jor­dan River

Two 25-pounder guns were lo­cated here in field em­place­ments. Two ad­di­tional 25-pounder guns were lo­cated to the east at Ot­ter Point.

Macau­lay Point Bat­tery

(1878 - 1956), Esquimalt

Three ri­fled muz­zle-load­ing guns were lo­cated here in 1878 - 1893. They were re­placed with three 6-inch MK6 guns on MK4 dis­ap­pear­ing car­riages, two of which were re­moved in 1924 and re­placed with two 6-inch quick-fir­ing MK2 naval barbette guns. In 1938 the third DC gun and the two naval guns were re­placed with two 6-inch MK7 guns on MK2 mounts un­til 1948. Two AA guns were here in 1942. The bat­tery is still ex­tant, and is now a city park. Two WWII search­light po­si­tions were nearby at Saxe Point and Har­ri­son Point. At Saxe Point, now a public park, the base of the con­crete search­light struc­ture forms the end of a railed look­out at the west side of the park and the in­te­rior of the con­crete foun­da­tion of its small gen­er­a­tor build­ing (lo­cated to the east of the look­out) is used as a flower bed.

Mary Hill Bat­tery (1939 - 1956), Mary Hill, near Wil­liam Head

Three 6-inch MK24 guns on MK5 mounts, an ob­ser­va­tion post, and a search­light were lo­cated here, as well as an AA bat­tery. Two ad­di­tional search­lights were lo­cated on Wil­liam Head it­self. In 1942 new mounts were in­stalled which al­lowed for greater fir­ing range. Site still ex­ists, but no public ac­cess (DND prop­erty, CFB Esquimalt).

Og­den Point Bat­tery (1939 - 1943), Vic­to­ria

Also known as Og­den Pier Bat­tery. One 6-pounder twin quick -fir­ing AMTB gun was lo­cated here, which had re­placed an ear­lier 12-pounder AMTB gun in 1944. This bat­tery was pre­vi­ously em­placed as the Break­wa­ter Bat­tery in 1939.

Pa­tri­cia Bay WWII De­fenses (1942 - 1945), North Saanich

Anti-air­craft bat­ter­ies were lo­cated here to pro­tect the mil­i­tary and civil­ian air­field (Vic­to­ria In­ter­na­tional Air­port).

Sig­nal Hill Bat­tery (1899 - 1938), Esquimalt

Two 9.2-inch MK10 guns on MK5 mounts and a Fire Com­mand ob­ser­va­tion post were lo­cated here. The guns were trans­ferred to Al­bert Head Bat­tery. In 1939 - 1945 this was the head­quar­ters of the 5th B.C. Coast Brigade. The bat­tery still ex­ists, but no public ac­cess.

Vic­to­ria Point Bat­tery (1878 - 1893), Bea­con Hill Park, Vic­to­ria

Two naval ri­fled muz­zle-load­ing guns were lo­cated here, pro­vid­ing part of the first de­fence of Vic­to­ria Har­bour. Two search­lights were lo­cated nearby at Hol­land Point dur­ing WWII. NOTES: The Esquimalt Naval Base and Dockyard (es­tab­lished in 1855) and its de­fenses were un­der Bri­tish con­trol un­til 1906. A sub­ma­rine mine field was planted in Esquimalt Har­bour from 1900 - 1905. Trial Is­land was to have a three-gun 7.5-inch bat­tery in WWII, but it was never built. Sev­eral bat­ter­ies of the C.A. De­fenses of Vic­to­ria - Esquimalt were con­sid­ered part of the joint US - Cana­dian Har­bor De­fenses of Juan de Fuca Strait. They were as fol­lows: Christo­pher Point Bat­tery, Mary Hill Bat­tery, Al­bert Head Bat­tery, and Macau­lay Point Bat­tery.

Work Point Bar­racks (1878 - 1956/present), Esquimalt

The Gar­ri­son and Fortress Com­mand Head­quar­ters for the en­tire har­bour de­fence was lo­cated here at Work Point. The site is now the Naval Of­fi­cer Train­ing Cen­tre for CFB Esquimalt. On dis­play on the grounds of the Bar­racks area is a WWII-era Bri­tish Mk III QF 3-inch 20 cwt anti-air­craft gun, once used in the de­fence of the Vic­to­ria - Esquimalt area. Spe­cial thanks to David Mor­gan and Robert Zink of the Coast De­fense Study Group for pro­vid­ing info on the Coast Ar­tillery De­fenses of Bri­tish Columbia.

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