The Maunsell Forts are armed offshore towers built in the Thames waters during the WWII in order to help defend the United Kingdom from the Nazi invasion. They were operated as navy and army forts and named after their designer, Guy Maunsell.
Maunsell naval forts
The Maunsell Forts were operated by the Royal Navy, to report German air raids and to prevent attempts to lay mines by aircraft in this important shipping channel.
During the World War II, the Thames estuary Navy forts only destroyed 1 German E Boat.
There were 4 naval forts:
- Rough Sands (U1)
- Sunk Head (U2)
- Tongue Sands (U3)
- Knock John (U4)
Maunsell Army Forts
Maunsell Army Forts are primarily designed to be anti-aircraft forts, in order to protect the mainland from the common Nazi air raids during the World War II.
Back then, there were three of these forts, but only two are left standing:
The Shivering Sands Fort was occupied by the artist Stephen Turner for 6 weeks in 2005 and described the project as an experiment in isolation and also wrote a blog and a book about it.
After their successful wartime career, the forts were decommissioned in the 1950s.