Wrights Hill Fortress

Wrights Hill Fortress was built in the 1940's as a long range coastal battery to protect Wellington city

and environs from possible enemy attack and invasion from the Pacific in World War Two. The site was selected as early as 1935, but it wasn't until March 1942 that authority was given for work to proceed on the construction of three 9.2 inch guns.

The extensive underground work started in November, 1942, by a firm of engineering contractors, Downers. They constructed the massive task of 2,030 feet (620 metres) of interconnecting tunnelling in just two years, worklng often three 8-hour shifts over 24 hours. When Downers became short of men in December 1943, the Public Works department helped out with men and machines. Two massive 185 horsepower Ruston and Hornsby diesel generators were installed to provide the power to manoeuvre the guns, and a smaller auxiliary generator was put in to provide power for lighting and air conditioning.

Two huge 9.2 inch guns were installed by the Army in 1944, after arriving by ship fom England. The whole gun weighed 135 tons, with the barrel alone weighing 28 tons. The order for the third gun was cancelled after an improvement in the Pacific war situation.

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Author: Wrights Hill Fortress Restoration Society

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Keywords:  Wrights Hill, Wellington, New Zealand, Fortifications, WWII



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