Amazing

By Michael Scott


These are the secret World War Two tunnels the British Army used to defend Gibraltar from a German invasion.

Pic by Michael Scott/Caters News: A storage unit along the Great North Road under the Rock of Gibraltar.

Christened the Great North Road, the mile-long bombproof tunnel runs right inside the Rock of Gibraltar.

Pic by Michael Scott/Caters News

It was built in 1940 so soldiers and equipment could remain safely underground while Luftwaffe planes bombarded the island.

Gibraltar was strategically extremely important during the Second World War, as it allowed the British to control access to the Mediterranean Sea.

Pic by Michael Scott/Caters News: This gun from Devils Gap Battery, which was constructed in 1902, is aimed towards Spain across the Bay of Gibraltar.

After the war, the tunnels were kept intact by the Ministry of Defence just in case they should ever be needed again. They are currently used for training troops in underground warfare.

Above ground, a gun battery still faces out towards the Spanish coast to guard against enemy warships trying to pass through.

Pic by Michael Scott/Caters News – This large open space was one of the underground WWII wards at Calpe Hospital.

The separate passages, or adits, leading off the main 60ft-wide highway are named after British districts and cities to allow soldiers to know where they are inside the rock.

The place names include Maida Vale, Peterborough, Doncaster, and Durham.

The tunnels house everything 16,000 soldiers needed to survive for 16 months – a telephone exchange, a generating station, a water desalination plant, a hospital ward, a bakery, a frozen food store, munitions stores and a station to repair damaged vehicles and passageways.

Michael Scott/Caters News – A water pipe runs the length of the Great North Road carrying fresh water towards residents properties from underground reservoirs.

They were so well positioned and equipped that General Dwight Eisenhower used the Admiralty Tunnel for the Allied Command Headquarters in 1942 to plan the allied invasion of North Africa.

The tunnels were photographed by Michael Scott in September last year.

He said: “They were great to see. They were very dark and dusty in some places, but really impressive to look at.

“The first thing that hits you is the heat. They have internet servers beneath them now and they feed the hot air out into the tunnels.

Pic by Michael Scott/Caters News: The Calpe Hole Generating Station supplied power to all the areas under the rock along the Great North Road. There are similare generating stations in other areas on the mountain.

“The generators were really remarkable. It’s hard to imagine how they got such massive machines down there in the first place.

“It was fantastic to see something that’s not really on the map.

Pic by Michael Scott/Caters News: The Rock of Gibraltar seen from the runway of Gibraltars International Airport which is the only runway of its kind in the world to allow pedestrians and traffic to cross when not in use.

“You hope they never have to be used during wartime again, but they still seem to be very strong.”