Fort Dum, nicknamed the “Concrete Battleship”, is a fortified island located on the mouth of Manila Bay within the Philippines.
Beforehand generally known as El Fraile Island, the location was acquired by the US after the Spanish–American Struggle (1898), a battle that noticed the US emerge because the dominant energy within the Caribbean area and the acquisition of Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines.
The American Board of Fortifications deliberate for El Fraile Island to be developed right into a mine management and casemate station as a part of the Harbor Defenses of Manila and Subic Bays. Together with Fort Drum, a defensive chain was devised that included Fort Mills (Corregidor), Fort Hughes (Caballo Island), Fort Frank (Carabao Island), and Fort Wint (Grande Island).
Nonetheless, the Struggle Division determined to degree El Fraile Island and commissioned the U.S. Military Corps of Engineers to construct a 20-foot thick steel-reinforced concrete deck armed with 12-inch and 14-inch weapons mounted in twin armoured turrets named Marshall (after Brigadier Common William Louis Marshall) and Wilson (after Brigadier Common John Moulder Wilson). Secondary armament was supplied by two pairs of 6-inch weapons mounted in armoured casemates on both facet of the principle construction.
Fort Drum entered lively service in 1914, garrisoned by roughly 240 officers and enlisted males. Though not intentional because the concrete building adopted the pure contours of El Fraile Island, from a distance the fort resembles a battleship, thus the nickname of “Concrete Battleship.”
Following the invasion of Luzon throughout WW2 by the Japanese Imperial Military, Fort Drum turned the primary American battery of seacoast artillery to open fireplace on the Japanese, heading off a Japanese-commandeered inter-island steamer.
After a number of air raids and sustained fireplace from Japanese 150mm howitzer batteries positioned on the mainland close to Ternate, Fort Drum surrendered to Japanese forces following the Fall of Corregidor on the sixth Could, 1942, however not earlier than destroying the armoured turrets.
Following the US offensive to reclaim Manila in 1945, Fort Drum stood as the ultimate Japanese stronghold in Manila Bay. After intense aerial and naval bombardment by US forces, a modified Touchdown Ship Medium (LSM) transported US troops consisting of members of the 2nd Battalion, 151st Infantry Regiment, thirty eighth Infantry Division, and a detachment of the 113th Fight Engineer Battalion, who shortly gained management of the fort’s higher deck.
Fairly than making an attempt to interrupt into the battery, the fight engineers pumped a gasoline combination by way of air vents on the highest deck, and used a timed fuse of TNT to detonate incendiary grenades contained in the construction. The explosion pressured open a 1-ton hatch to a top of 300 toes, and brought on important injury to sections of the fort’s bolstered concrete partitions.
Because of the intense warmth and ongoing inner fires, US troops needed to wait 5 days earlier than coming into the inner construction, discovering the charred stays of 62 Japanese troopers within the boiler room, and 6 troopers within the higher flooring that died from suffocation.
Following the conclusion of WW2, Fort Drum was decommissioned and have become deserted. In 2001, it was repurposed by the Philippine Coast Guard who fitted an automatic mild on the highest deck for safely guiding ships coming into the South Channel of Manila Bay.
Header Picture – Fort Drum – Picture Credit score : Paul Soutar