British coastal batteries in Egypt

Discussions on WW2 in Africa & the Mediterranean. Hosted by Andy H
heltaher
Member
Posts: 13
Joined: 18 Jun 2015 19:02
Location: Middle East

Re: British coastal batteries in Egypt

Post by heltaher » 10 Sep 2020 20:54

Between 1950 about 1970, the unit was operational. I saw that myself. It was manned first by British forces until 1957, but then the base resorted to the Egyptian Armed Forces. Like in the UK, the base changed hands under the Egyptians several times between the Navy, the Army, or an independent unit. I can always retry the Army Archives, and share the result via the Axis History Forum. Unless you know somebody already in the Army Archives, and that will help everybody.

ROLAND1369
Member
Posts: 1071
Joined: 26 May 2007 15:22
Location: USA

Re: British coastal batteries in Egypt

Post by ROLAND1369 » 11 Sep 2020 12:13

What I said about the Royal Garrison Artillery applied to the British Army only and then only until 1956 when the Coast Artillery Branch of the Army was disbanded. A further complication is the fact that the battery discussed was not completed and may never have come under the control of the Royal Artillery, possibly still under the control of the engineers.

ROLAND1369
Member
Posts: 1071
Joined: 26 May 2007 15:22
Location: USA

Re: British coastal batteries in Egypt

Post by ROLAND1369 » 11 Sep 2020 13:46

I searched my record and came up with a 1967 DIA Intell document listing the holdings of the Egyptian Military, including former British Weapons, for 1967. As with all intell documents I cannot verify the accuracy however as allies of the Brits I would assume the preparers had access to British Documentation on this subject. I was quite surprised to see the 5.25 inch guns as well as 3 more 9.2 inch guns. This is the first I have seen of the 5.25 inch in Egypt however it is logical as Malta received at least one battery and Egypt has far more strategic value. The presence of at least 2-9.2 in the Port Said area is confirmed in a book by a French Paratrooper who participated in the Suez operation of 1956. He identified them as 220 MM, not far from their 234 MM caliber.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

ROLAND1369
Member
Posts: 1071
Joined: 26 May 2007 15:22
Location: USA

Re: British coastal batteries in Egypt

Post by ROLAND1369 » 11 Sep 2020 13:53

I searched my record and came up with a 1967 DIA Intell document listing the holdings of the Egyptian Military, including former British Weapons, for 1967. As with all intell documents I cannot verify the accuracy however as allies of the Brits I would assume the preparers had access to British Documentation on this subject. I was quite surprised to see the 5.25 inch guns as well as 3 more 9.2 inch guns. This is the first I have seen of the 5.25 inch in Egypt however it is logical as Malta received at least one battery and Egypt has far more strategic value. The presence of at least 2-9.2 in the Port Said area is confirmed in a book by a French Paratrooper who participated in the Suez operation of 1956. He identified them as 220 MM, not far from their 234 MM caliber. It would be helpful if you coud attach a map showing where this battery was located.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

ROLAND1369
Member
Posts: 1071
Joined: 26 May 2007 15:22
Location: USA

Re: British coastal batteries in Egypt

Post by ROLAND1369 » 11 Sep 2020 13:55

Incidentally the number of guns in the 9.2 and 5.25 inch guns, 6 in each case, would indicate 2 batteries of each type.

heltaher
Member
Posts: 13
Joined: 18 Jun 2015 19:02
Location: Middle East

Re: British coastal batteries in Egypt

Post by heltaher » 12 Sep 2020 00:31

Herewith attached is a map of the city of Alexandria in Egypt. You can see an area Called Sidi Bishr to the north-west on the shores of the Mediterranean. This neighbourhoud, which was the location of the base, is not directly on the beach, but retracted a few meters to the east, thus gets separated from the beach, by a coastal road all along the city. The base was situated on a sandy hill right to east of the road. The other side of the base is right along the Alexandria rail tracks also going north-south. One could see the guns clearly when you drove, or walked, north-south close to the top of the hill, but I don't recall ever seeing the guns while traveling along the coastal road.

On the base, one could see a couple of guns and a pretty tall metallic tower with a kind of cabin trans-pierced by a horizontal long tube, which we considered to be some kind of big binoculars to be able to see ships at a long distance from the coast, or some instrument that helped aim the guns. Had I known someone who can draw an illustration of what I am describing, he/she can get pretty close to the real site image, and my help would make it pretty much precise.

I am attaching the map of the overall site in PDF, and added an arrow indicating the neighbourhood of Sidi Bishr.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

ROLAND1369
Member
Posts: 1071
Joined: 26 May 2007 15:22
Location: USA

Re: British coastal batteries in Egypt

Post by ROLAND1369 » 12 Sep 2020 01:21

Thank you for taking the trouble to send the map it helps immensely.

heltaher
Member
Posts: 13
Joined: 18 Jun 2015 19:02
Location: Middle East

Re: British coastal batteries in Egypt

Post by heltaher » 12 Sep 2020 01:34

You are welcome Roland. We are in it for a worthwhile search, and a pleasure too I must add.

Dili
Member
Posts: 2137
Joined: 24 Jun 2007 22:54
Location: Lusitania

Re: British coastal batteries in Egypt

Post by Dili » 12 Sep 2020 23:15

Any idea when 9.2 arrived to Egypt? maybe post war from Malta?

heltaher
Member
Posts: 13
Joined: 18 Jun 2015 19:02
Location: Middle East

Re: British coastal batteries in Egypt

Post by heltaher » 12 Sep 2020 23:33

Unfortunately I have no idea.

ROLAND1369
Member
Posts: 1071
Joined: 26 May 2007 15:22
Location: USA

Re: British coastal batteries in Egypt

Post by ROLAND1369 » 13 Sep 2020 14:17

I also have no knowledge of 9.2 movement. 3-6 inch MK 23 on mark 5 45 degree mount were moved from Palestine to Singapore postwar. I would believe that the 9.2s built this late in the war would be the 35 degree modernized mounts but while I have the numbers of guns for Malta I have not seen the types or any record of movement.

Dili
Member
Posts: 2137
Joined: 24 Jun 2007 22:54
Location: Lusitania

Re: British coastal batteries in Egypt

Post by Dili » 16 Sep 2020 00:54

Thanks both of you, British coastal defenses seem still deep in London fog...

Return to “WW2 in Africa & the Mediterranean”