Stubbert's Point Battery
Stubbert's Point Battery (1939 - 1951) - Stubbert's Point Battery was a coastal gun battery situated on a rocky cliff overlooking the entrance to Sydney Harbor, Cape Breton County, Nova Scotia, Canada. The site experienced two different periods of activity, World War I (1914-1917), and World War II (1940-1948). Last deactivated in 1951. Located just east of the North Sydney ferry terminal.
Stubbert's Point Battery History
Part of the Harbor Defense of Sydney.
World War I (1914-1918)
In WWI this was the location of the western terminus of the Sydney harbour anti-submarine net and boom defense.
"The anti-submarine net, completed in August of 1917, was made of two inch thick flexible wire assembled into a twelve foot mesh and extended from Stubbert's Point on the northside to South Bar. It was suspended from floats on the surface and anchored at intervals along the harbour floor. At mid channel was a 125-yard gate section, one end of which was fixed to a red spherical hinge buoy. The other end was suspended from the motorized and de-masted schooner Una, the gate-opening vessel, which by running forward opened the gate to allow the entry of friendly shipping. Just to the seaward of the gate, the government steamer Landsdowne, which had been commissioned into the navy, kept station as a guard ship, having been armed with a six-pounder quick-firing Hotchkiss gun. At midnight on 7 August all traffic entering and leaving the harbour was placed under strict naval control with the inauguration of an examination service under Captain Pasco's port defense organisation, to guard against surprise attack by disguised armed merchant ship raiders. No incoming ship could approach beyond the line between Flat Point and Cranberry Head without first establishing its identity to a naval examination vessel. Because no steamer was available this had to be performed by motor launches. The examination personnel, if satisfied, would order the gate of the submarine net to be opened. Vessels wishing to leave port would have to notify the examination one day in advance and receive, confidentially, a time when the gate would be briefly opened. Vessels could not enter or leave during darkness or when the weather was thick. One of primary responsibilities of the coastal batteries at Cranberry Head and Fort Petrie was to be ready at all times to open fire, first with warning shots and then for effect, on instructions from the examination staff... [No vessels] could pass, in or out, without displaying certain prearranged signals, set from day to day by the naval authorities. As the Sydney Daily Post later put it, obviously impressed. 'no craft - not even the Marion or Aspy [two well known local coastal vessles] - could pass in or out without displaying certain prearranged signals set from day to day by the naval authorities. The only vessles exempted from the regulations were Canadian. British, and Allied warships and naval transports. These vessles, on the communication of a secret code to the port defenses, were given immediate entry at all times in case an enemy submarine or surface raider was lurking offshore. To exchange entry messages with friendly with friendly warships and to give advance warning of the approach of suspicious vessles, a navy party was stationed at the Flat Point lighthouse (Low Point lighthouse), which was designated the port war signal station."Tennyson and Flynn (2000) Pages 142-143
World War II (1939-1945)
Armament consisted of two 6-pounder Hotchkiss guns, originally located at the anti-motor-torpedo-boat battery on North Bar (North Bar Battery) one mile south until relocated to Stubbert's Point in April 1941. These old single barreled naval guns were replaced by one 6-pounder duplex quick-firing gun in December of 1943. Again this was the location of the western terminus of the Sydney harbour anti-submarine net and boom defense. Three searchlights positions were also located here guarding the anti-submarine net and boom across to South Bar/Daly Point. Other concrete surface buildings onsite included the magazine, gun crew shelter, gun equipment stores, and an engine/generator house for the searchlights.
Post World War II (1946-1951)
In early February 1945 Fort Lingan and South Bar Battery were shut down. This left in operation at Sydney only Fort Petrie, Stubbert's Point battery, and the searchlights at Cranberry Head, the bare minimum required to support the navy in the event that a snorkel-equipped submarine was forced to the surface or attempted a fast surface run into the harbour. In 1951 all of the equipment at Stubbert's Point Battery was moved into immediate reserve at Fort Petrie and Killkenny Barracks. In 1953 or 1954 the stored equipment was removed, possible shipped to NATO partners in Europe still conceivably at risk of naval assault on their shores.
The site is undeveloped privately owned property immediately beside Shore Road (Hwy 305) at street address 685. The site contains the remains of the fire control station, the concrete gun emplacement and one of the three searchlight shelters. All of the concrete structures are damaged and covered with graffiti. No period guns or mounts in place.
Visited: 7 Jul 2013