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Concrete battleship

There’s an island fort in Manila Bay that’s shaped just like a battleship – a remnant of the American colonisation of the Philippines.

Fort Drum

Paul Soutar [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

El Fraile Island used to be just another island sitting outside Manila. Its strategic importance led the American colonial government to build it up into a big concrete fort, complete with turrets and guns. Those weapons, and the general shape of the reformed island, looks a lot like a battleship.

I don’t know if this was deliberate or not. I can imagine the tactical advantage in deceiving an invading force (see also: inflatable tanks), but I cannot imagine that such a deception would last for long. In any case, Fort Drum fell to the Japanese in World War II – in fact, they may have been one of the last parts of the Philippines to surrender. The fort was destroyed by the Americans when they returned in 1945.

Categories: Asia History Military Modern history Places

The Generalist

I live in Auckland, New Zealand, and am curious about most things.

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