Monday, February 1, 2010

Coast at War

I'm working on a new Google Maps tour thingy titled The Coast at War - this will give you a tour of military sites along the coast between Sydney and Newcastle listing coastal fortifications , airfield and radar installations , sites of plane crashes / forced landings and shipping losses.
In compiling this information I have come across several fascinating stories like :

The laying of mines along the coast by German submarines which resulted in several ships being sunk.

The stalking of merchant vessels by a Japanese submarine over a period of 2 months , this vessel fired upon Newcastle and Sydney as well as sinking a number of ships

Secret coastal forts with giant naval cannons only 10km from Woy Woy peninsula

The fatal crash of a Spitfire fighter off the beach at Wamberal

Survivors from ships attacked by the Japanese turning up on the beach at The Entrance

Secret landings on the coast by Japanese and German seamen during the war.

The last days of the 3rd mini sub that attacked Sydney Harbour , Fort Records from Brooklyn note the sub in the area in the week after the sinking of the Kuttabul , at one stage it was even stuck on the mud flats at Patonga before disapearing again , were the crew still alive ?

I will go into detail on each story as the year goes by , so much info to sort through yet , I must thanks the lads at Fishraider forums for helping with some fort locations , an inspired peice of detective work if I must say so myself lol
How would I find these hidden bunkers along the coast ? Who would know ? The National Parks mob don't divulge much info as they want these sites protected and the National Archives won't let go of info easily without me having to actually visit them and fork out some cash.
So after a bit of a brainwave I'm thinking the local fishos would know because they spend the time in the water looking at them quite often , so after a quick post on the forum I had the info I needed within 48 hours !

When it gets cooler me and the bro will be visiting some of these coastal forts and getting some pictures , it will involve a bit of bush bashing and detective work , should be fun.
First visit will be to Brooklyn where I think I have spotted the hexagonal foundations of a gun emplacement on Brooklyn Point , Brooklyn Battery is mentioned in a few old Fort Records books at the National Archive , apart from that there is no mention of it anywhere else.
Also planned is a run to the Sport and Rec camp at Brooklyn to visit the site of the Juno Point gun battery , this is just around the headland from Patonga , and after that we will head to West Head at Pittwater to locate the extensive fortifications that watched over Broken Bay

Tanks Traps at Stockton Beach NSW
During WW2 thousands of concrete tank traps were placed along the length of Stockton Beach near Newcastle to thwart any atempt by the enemy to land there , today many are still there hidden in the sand dunes and under the water causing hazards to local surfers and fishos.
Weird to see this sign on an Aussie beach in 2010 ....

Tank Trap Warning sign



  1. Wicked! This sounds like a most excellent adventure.

  2. Hell yeh , bout time I got off my butt and done something lol

  3. What Sarah said.

    Think I'll leave the war stuff in your capable hands. All I ever do is stumble across a bit by accident.

    Re the fishos and who else might know where the old placements etc are: try the local historians. BWLSS? BWLHA? Their members tend to be 100 not out plus they have books.

  4. Yeh I keep meaning to visit that little war museum shopfront in Ettalong , I'm sure that would be a goldmine , only open odd days tho

  5. Haven't got a look in there yet myself. If his mates are reading this, get the bugger to let us know when he's open. We're gasping for a gander.


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