I found this place this morning on a wlk around Languard Fort at the port of Felixstowe. I will certainly have to return when I have more interesting skies or frost.
These timber baulks once carried rail lines to the end of the jetty. The railway was linked to Landguard Fort where, in the latter part of the 19th century and the early years of the 20th century, a system of using submerged mines was devised to protect the approaches to Harwich Harbour.
The railway was used to transport the mines, using hand-pushed trucks, to the jetty where they were loaded on ships and deployed in the harbour.
The mines were anchored by heavy plates and floated to within about twenty feet of the surface (at low water). At this depth they did not interfere with the normal traffic entering and leaving the port. Cables from the mines were connected to the fort's observation post, which was complete with telescope and rangefinder. The telescope would be trained on the bows of an intruding vessel and when the vessel reached the location of one of the mines an electrical contact was automatically made and the mine exploded.
The mines were designed to cause an upsurge of water so that the vessel would be disabled, not blown up.
Tags: Landscape and travel
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