It protected the port of Mahón and was one of the best defended sites in Spain

The formidable Fortress of La Mola, in Menorca, and its enormous Vickers guns

The Spanish island of Menorca, in the Balearic Islands, has great strategic importance due to its location in the Mediterranean Sea.

Fort Soledad: one of the most remote military positions that Spain had
The two Munáiz-Argüelles cannons of the Battery J-3 of Monteferro, in the Vigo Estuary

Due to this situation, England invaded this island in 1708, taking advantage of the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-1713), during which the English also appropriated the rock of Gibraltar, in southern Spain. In 1756 France took over the island, which returned to British hands in 1763. Finally, taking advantage of the American War of Independence (in which Spain supported the Thirteen Colonies), Menorca It returned to Spanish hands in 1782. However, the invasions of this island did not end there: in 1798 the British took over the island again, with Spain recovering it in 1802.

After such an eventful history, the Spanish Crown understood the importance of fortifying Menorca. In 1850, during the reign of Isabel II, the construction of a fortress began in Mahón, the capital of the island. The works were completed in 1875, being called Fortaleza de Isabel II, although it is popularly known as Fortaleza de La Mola, for being located on the peninsula that bears that name. Its objective was to protect the access to the port of Mahón.

During the dictatorship of Primo de Rivera (1923-1930), La Mola Fortress was chosen as the location for two large 381/45 mm Vickers guns, acquired in 1926 as part of a batch of 18 parts. The two cannons were installed in 1934 in what is known as the Punta de Afuera Battery, in the eastern part of the peninsula, and fired their last shots in 1990. In addition, four 15.24 cm Vickers cannons were also installed in this place, which made this peninsula one of the best defended sites in Spain. In 2007 the Ministry of Defense gave way to the Government of the Balearic Islands. Currently the La Mola Fortress functions as a military museum.

This Sunday, the excellent YouTube channel Aventuras Entresierras (which I recommend you subscribe to) has published an interesting video taking a tour of this fortress and showing its cannons, which include, in addition to those mentioned, an M-114 155 mm howitzer, a pair of Schneider mountain cannons and a cannon coast Munaiz Argüelles 150/45:

You can see here some screenshots of this very complete video, which contains many interesting things. Here we see a part of the fortress, with two very well preserved sentry boxes. The fortress is enormous and has long underground galleries, as you can see in the video.

The 155 mm M-114 howitzer preserved in the fortress. It is a model from the Second World War. It entered production in 1942. Spain received 84 howitzers of this type in 1955, as part of US military aid, being used by the Army until the more modern Santa Bárbara Sistemas 155/52 howitzers entered service in 2005.

One of the two large 381/45 mm Vickers cannons of the Punta de Afuera Battery, in the eastern part of the La Mola peninsula. This area, by the way, is the easternmost territory of Spain (if we exclude the Spanish embassies in eastern countries, as the author of the video points out).

One of the 15.24 cm Vickers guns of this battery. They are rusty but retain their original camouflage and all parts, including the closure and the elevation and aiming systems.

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