Jubilee Battery
Jubilee Battery
Jubilee Battery
Jubilee Battery
Jubilee Battery
Mount Davis Peak
Mount Davis Peak
Mount Davis Peak
Mount Davis Peak
Mount Davis Peak
Pinewood Battery
Pinewood Battery
Pinewood Battery
Pinewood Battery
Pinewood Battery
Pinewood Battery
Pinewood Battery
Sai Wan Battery
Sai Wan Battery
Sai Wan Battery
Sai Wan Battery
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Set high atop hills, these historical sites are surrounded by nature

Through most of the nineteenth century, the British Empire was confident in its naval strength and relied little on coastal artillery. 

But by 1930, Japan, then East Asia’s strongest power, was becoming increasingly expansionist as it sought out more territory in the region. When the treaty lapsed in 1936, Britain immediately went into action and began constructing battery sites on Hong Kong Island. 

Even with these major military projects, Hong Kong, then marked by rocky and barren hills, was still vulnerable to air attacks. Though the government had led a major effort to replant the city’s empty hills, with almost 30 percent of Hong Kong Island reforested by 1930, these efforts were hurriedly spent in that tumultuous decade.

A rush of Mainland refugees and a shortage of fuel led to massive deforestation as a means of survival. By 1945, the hills were sparse and rocky. 

There was a danger of battery sites being easily located by enemy airplanes, but there was a bigger danger in not building them at all. 

Japanese takeover of the city was swift and severe. 

Text & Photos Victoria Mae Martyn