Devils's Peak and Museum of Coastal Defence WW2 Hong Kong
Devils's Peak and Museum of Coastal Defence
At the end of the 19th century, and early into the 20th, the British authorities were very concerned about perceived threats to the safety of their colonial possessions in the Far East from other European powers. Hong Kong fell into this category. Accordingly the British Government constructed impressive military fortifications to protect their imperial possessions, and one of these was at Devil's Peak at the eastern extremity of the Kowloon peninsula.
The large fortification constructed to defend the eastern approaches to Hong Kong harbour consisted of 2 fixed gun battery positions, together with a Redoubt at the summit of Devil's Peak which later became the Fire Command Headquarters for the eastern part of Hong Kong. Although the position was eventually considered redundant and was in fact decommissioned before the outbreak of the Pacific War, the location was the scene of bitter fighting between the courageous Indian soldiers of the Rajput Battalion and the attacking Japanese army during the battle for Hong Kong in December 1941, immediately prior to the British evacuation of the mainland to Hong Kong island.
Many of the battery buildings of this fortification can still be seen to this day, and during your visit our expert military guide will recount the fascinating history of this interesting site. You will learn about the reasons for the construction of the artillery batteries here and visit the gun and Redoubt positions, as well as hearing the account of the 1941 battle on Devil's Peak.
Following our visit to the gun battery position on Devil's Peak, we walk down through the seafood restaurant area of Lei Yue Mun to catch the ferry to Sai Wan Ho on Hong Kong island. A short taxi ride then brings us to the Museum of Coastal Defence, housed inside the late Victorian-era Lei Yue Mun Fort.
The fort occupied a strategic position guarding the eastern approaches to Victoria Harbour. The British military built barracks here as early as 1844, but these were abandoned shortly afterwards. In 1885, in the face of perceived aggrandizement from other European powers, artillery barracks were constructed with a redoubt at the core of the fortifications.
In view of its' historical significance and unique architectural features, the Hong Kong Government decided in 1993 to conserve and develop the fort into the Museum of Coastal Defence. It was opened to the public in 2000, and the redoubt was converted to become exhibition galleries which tell the fascinating story of this aspect of Hong Kong's past.
Cost: HK$500 per person, includes transport, museum entranced included. Total tour time 5 hours, walking time approx. 3 hours Bring packed lunch and water. Please note the start of the walk there is a 30min uphill climb to the summit of Devil's peak. Tours will not include the Museum on Thursday's as Museum is closed. Facilities: Toilets en route