During World War II, Portugal was a neutral country from 1939 to 1944, resisting pressure from both sides to get involved.
In addition to the strategic importance of the mainland coast of Portugal, the Azores Islands represented a key position in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, which turned this Portuguese archipelago into a possible landing target for both the Allies and the Axis.
To prevent them from being invaded, Portugal fortified the islands, building some coastal artillery batteries, including the Pico da Castanheira Battery, whose mission was to protect the port of Ponta Delgada, on the São Miguel Island. This battery was equipped with three 150 mm Krupp CTR m/897 guns, installed there in September and served from extensive underground facilities that were completed in 1943.
The fate of the Azores Islands changed in 1944, after the signing of an agreement whereby Portugal allowed the United States to install military bases in that archipelago, with which Portugal abandoned its status as neutral country to become non-belligerent, but clearly favorable to the Allies. The Castanheira Battery continued to be active for decades, firing its last shots in 1969. A few hundred meters away was the Grotinha Barracks, which served as the logistics base for this position. The battery it was finally abandoned in 1994, although the site remains a military zone.
The old Krupp cannons from the battery are still in the place where they were placed in 1940. They are centenary artillery pieces. This Tuesday, Tattooed Traveler posted an interesting video touring the three canyons and the battery tunnels:
You can see here some captures of the video. Here we see access to the inside of the battery. The tunnels are in very good condition and there are no signs of vandalism.
One of the battery's Krupp guns, still pointing out to sea. The guns no longer have their bolts, but they are in better shape than the guns of other old artillery batteries.
The second of the canyons, with the city of Ponta Delgada in the background.
The third of the guns was in a position further back than the other two, very close to the western entrance to the battery tunnels.
On the Portuguese website Operacional.pt you can see a very complete article about this battery and about the nearby barracks.
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