Cambridge Battery, also known as Battery No. 2, was one of five in the Victorian fort. Situated at the fort’s north-east corner, it housed 68-pounder and 32-pounder smooth-bore guns. These fired en barbette over walls topped with earthen ramparts. The guns were mounted on heavy timber platforms that rotated on iron pivots with small metal wheels. These ran on the semi-circular and circular racer rails that can still be clearly seen.
The Battery’s defences included a long south-east facing loop-holed wall for musketry fire, together with a caponier projecting northwards to flank the fort’s northern face (see plan).
By the 1920s, Alderney was effectively demilitarised, only to have a new lease of life during the Second World War when occupied by the Germans. They constructed five artillery batteries, 23 anti-aircraft batteries, 13 strongpoints, 12 resistance nests, three defence lines and emplaced over 30,000 mines on this small island.
Fort Tourgis was known to the Germans as Stutzpunkt Türkenburg or Strongpoint Turk’s Castle. It had a three-gun 20mm Flak (anti-aircraft) battery, two 10.5cm beach defence guns, two 7.5cm Pak (anti-tank) guns, several searchlights and numerous machine guns. Note the ingenuity and quality of engineering design employed to fortify the former Victorian defences for 20th century warfare.
Other elements of interest:
Following extensive clearance and conservation work with volunteers supported by the States Works department, part of the northern defences of Fort Tourgis is now open to the public. Cambridge Battery (No.2) and its later German bunkers are an excellent example of how the original Victorian fortifications were adapted by German forces in the Second World War, when Alderney became one of the most heavily fortified sections of Hitler’s Atlantic Wall.
Please take care when entering, viewing and leaving this historic fort, as some of the tunnel clearances are restricted. You are requested to deter young children from climbing on the ramparts. There are no safety barriers, so that the original features of the building can be clearly seen. The States of Alderney cannot be held liable for accident or injury.