Pesquisar neste blogue

domingo, 10 de agosto de 2014

The Forgoten Guns of Setúbal City - Portugal

Setúbal, it is a very nice city, military speaking. Not because of any war, battle (in memory i just remember one battle against  Spanish in 1580 war) or confrontation, but by a rich group of  army strutures, since 10th century (an arab castle near by), to 20th Coastal Defense (3 artillery regiments and 2 headquarters named "Brancanes" and "Onze"), passing by the 14th "Outão" Fort (in Roman times was a temple to Zeus)  and a 16th century Fortress build by the Spanish Filipe's. All (at the exeption of the Castle and Fortress), are abandoned, but that is normal in Portugal with a crapp of politicians and defense ministers since 25 April 1974.   

Casalinho Battery weapons location. There were probably six long range 280mm german guns in this Coastal Defense Artillery.

With a very important Port and Bay, Setúbal coastal waters were defended (such as i know t'ill last week) by "7th Bataria - Arrabida" and "8th Bataria - Abarquel", since after WWI t'ill the final of 20th century (very well explain in "regimento de artilharia de, by Fernando Limão"). 
The "Bataria de Casalinho e Moinho da Desgraça" that was deactivaded since the 1960 (3) was not part of CAR (Coastal Artillery Regiment), so was forgoten by me and for many more people. But if the information is correct, this was the regiment with the more powerfull guns in all Portuguese modern coastal defense, besides being one of the most small ones (some informations talk also about the bigger range in Portuguese CAR, but 50 km, like we will see is not a correct range).

The only photograph now of "Casalinho Battery" (probably from the 40's, with the Sado River an Troia peninsula in front) with the main guns. We can see the 280mm weapons had no side rotation and that they were assembled in raks to absorved the kick when they shoot.

Like we can see, "Casalinho" it was only the guns, guns implacement, munitions stores and some acomodations. The correct model of artillary used, i think was the 280mm Krupp in 1891-1906 models (since the information know only speak in a supposed 280 mm guns) with blindage protective structure. But by the shape it is possible that was the 210 mm from Armstrong (with a range of only 16 km that gives to "Casalinho" only close support to 7th and 8th battery) (2).
Since Portuguese Coastal Defense used only artillary made by Germany and United Kingdom,  and that the cal. was between 150mm Krupp and 234mm from Vickers (we are not considered "Casalinho" and the suposed 280mm guns), it is normal that this last model were one possibility. But the Portuguese system in Coastal Defence was made with short-med. and longe range, so with the introduction of most modern Vickers 234 mm in 6th "Bataria - Fonte da Telha" in the 40's with a 40 km range, it  explain why the 280 mm was probably the right model and the reason of their retirement in 1950-1960 since was a much older gun (1). 

A 280mm M-1891 Krupp model from the "Oscarsborg  fortress" in Norway.  Probably the main guns of "Casalinho" were "relatives" from this one (1).

If the information about the gun is correct the range will be between 14-40 km (the germans had at least 7 models of 280mm guns), and not the 5km or 50 km that are normal reference in blogs or internet sides (i don't see any books or write information about "Casalinho Battery"), with the 234 mm Vickers 40 km range beeing probably the maximum in Coastal Portuguese Artillery. 
"Casalinho"guns were the only ones retired from their place (all the others are still there) in all the country. Is destiny is incertain but probably was scrapped in the 60s.

Armstrong 210mm gun also from Norway. This was another possibility for "Casalinho", since Portugal only had German and British guns in Coastal Defense,  but it seams much short in rear that in the original photo (2). 

"Moinho da Desgraça" was a near by observation post for "Abarquel" and "Casalinho" battery's. Is still visible the place for sighting equipment inside the bunker, very dificult to see from the sea, because of the shape and forest. Was abandoned when the main battery ("8th Bataria - Abarquel") was out of service in the final years of 20th century.

                                                                    Casalinho in the midle 60's after the guns removed.

Main acomodations in the battery after their disactivation

Still with the iron doors, the storehouse for amunitions. Probably the space were occupied or had someone paid by Salazar governement to do some maintenance. 

Casalinho Battery in 2008.

Gun implacement.

Munition Storehouse at left and iron stuctures in front for kick racks.

Another photo of several guns implacement.

From the river Sado, "Casalinho" and "Moinho da Desgraça" are very difficult to see (the first is down the white construction and the second is on the right).

"Moinho da Desgraça" observation post entrance.

Another photo of main entrance.

                 The interior of observation post "Moinho da Desgraça". and

Trafaria "5th Bataria" observation post. It is very similar to "Moinho da Desgraça" bunker. 
(1) - After one vacation mourning investigation the confirmation of the 6X 280mm M1892 model. It was declared by Portuguese Army in 1924. There was no more 28cm guns in Portugal what maches with the 6 guns of "Casalinho"

(2) - The same link said that Portugal was never had 210 mm guns. In 1931-32 Only 2 guns of 260 mm M/76 and 32 howitzer M/902 of 28cm. Another reference to 6X280mm are the Model 1875/02, but in 1929-1930. 

 (3) - The only reference to Casalinho's first service date is 1949, but by the type of guns and construction i don't think that this information is correct (another is the 28mm and not 28cm). Probably was in the late 20's or in the bigining of the 30's (since the guns were im Portugal since 1924). After the concluson of "Barron's plans" (no referênce to Casalinho)  for coastal artillary, the 152 mm guns from "7th Bataria - Outão" (i read   that before the modernization were used 147mm short range Krupp guns, one information that i have to see if is true since in some time i spend around this question i think that is a confusion with 150cm Krupp guns ) and the 150 mm Krupp for "8th Bataria - Abarquel", lead to  desactivation of Casalinho's, probably becaouse there were better, faster and more modern.

Sem comentários:

Enviar um comentário