Running a coastal battery

lossie observers

Now derelict, the coastal battery at Lossie Forest defended Lossiemouth harbour from German attack during World War 2.

In June 1940, a Polish Army Engineer Corps constructed some of these defences. Wieslaw Szczygiel, a Polish soldier in that unit, recalls briefly working on them before moving to a unit at Tentsmuir.

The 227th battery of the 501 Coastal Regiment manned the coastal station once it was completed on 28 May 1941.

At the front of the battery were two gun emplacements, armed with large 6 inch Mark 11 guns. These were old World War I guns removed from naval ships and stored until needed.  They were powerful and could fire long distances, excellent for keeping enemy ships at bay.

Behind the gun emplacements, there were a series of other buildings. Two machine gun emplacements would provide firepower to defend the beach if enemy troops landed.

A vital building was the Battery Observation Post (BOP).  As command control, this was where the calculations for aiming and firing the big guns were made. Later, radar was introduced to help detect the enemy's approach.

Two searchlight stations provided light to see an enemy attack at night.

To prevent detection from enemy planes the buildings were painted and hidden with web netting. Today this camouflage is no longer evident.

In April 1945, the battery went out of operation followed by the removal of the guns two months later.