Johore Battery – Monster Gun @ Changi

We took a drive along Cosford Road to see what’s changed in the area and stopped by the the Johore Battery, a gun emplacement site that consists of a labyrinth of tunnels that was used to store ammunition to support three monster guns that could fire 15-inch shells.

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This main battery in the north east coast was named the Johor Battery in appreciation of Sultan Ibrahim of Johor’s donation of £500,000 as a Silver Jubilee gift for King George V for the British war campaign, out of which £400,000 was used for the installation of two of the three guns.

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Built by the British in 1939 for the defence of Singapore, the guns were the largest installed outside Britain during WWII. The Johor Battery’s three 15-inch guns were known also as monster guns for their sheer size. The other two 15-inch guns in Singapore were mounted at Buona Vista Battery in the south.

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The three 15-inch guns, so called because of the 15-inch (38 cm) diameter of the shells they fired, were placed in a row 500 m from each other. The guns had a 16.5 m-long barrel. They had a 360-degree traverse enabling them to target both land and sea objects.

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Vertical shafts led to a labyrinth of tunnels three storeys underground connected to a bunker housing the ammunition. The shells came up on hydraulic lifts and were pushed into the breech by a ram. The ammunition was capable of piercing the armour of the most powerful ship 30 km away.

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The guns were destroyed before the surrender of the British army and the tunnels were sealed up after the war. Their location remained a secret until the Singapore Prisons Department rediscovered them in April 1991 along Cosford Road, off Upper Changi Road North. Today a replica of the monster gun and 15-inch shell sit at the Johore Battery.

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And while you’re in the area, see if you can spot this nicely preserved GRUMMAN HU-16 Albatross. It’s a large twin–radial engine amphibious flying boat that was typically used by the United States Air Force, U.S. Navy, and U.S. Coast Guard, primarily as a search and rescue aircraft. Originally designated as the SA-16 for the USAF and the JR2F-1 and UF-1 for the USN and USCG, it was redesignated as the HU-16 in 1962.

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Sources: Wikipedia and National Library Board

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