Battery 519

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Battery 519 (1944-1948) - Battery 519 was a reinforced concrete, World War II 12 inch coastal gun battery on Fort Miles, Delaware. Battery construction started on 15 Nov 1942, was completed on 31 Aug 1943 and transferred to the Coast Artillery for use 15 feb 1944 at a cost of $ 857,000.00. Deactivated in 1948.

Fort Miles, Battery 519 Gun Emplacement #1
Fort Miles, Battery 519 Gun Emplacement #2
Fort Miles, Battery 519 View from the Observation Tower

World War II

Part of the Harbor Defense of the Delaware.

Battery 519 12" Gun and Carriage with a 12" Shell.
Battery 519 Overhead Shell Trolly Systeml.
Battery 519 12" Gun Powder Bags, 4 per Shot.

Originally built as a World War II casemated concrete coastal gun battery with two 12" M1895M1 guns mounted on M1917 Barbette carriages. This battery was constructed in place of the 16" Battery 119 after that battery was canceled in late 1942. The guns and carriages were formally transferred from Fort Saulsbury, Battery Haslet in July 1944 and that battery was closed. There are indications that the guns and mounts were physically moved and mounted in 1943 (RCW 1 May 1944) and that they were upgraded to 440 volt AC power equipment and power rammers by 1946. In 1948 the battery was declared surplus and the guns were sold as scrap.

Battery 519 Armament (edit list)
Model Serial
Manufacturer Carriage Service
1 12" Rifle 444" M1895MI 51 Watervliet Barbette, M1917, #23, Watertown 1944-1948 See note 1
2 12" Rifle 444" M1895MI 72 Watervliet Barbette, M1917, #24, Watertown 1944-1948 See note 1
Source: RCW Form 1, 1 May 1944, Coast Defense Study Group, Berhow, Mark A. ed, American Seacoast Defenses: A Reference Guide, 2nd Edition, CDSG Press, McLean, VA, 2004, ISBN 0-9748167-0-1, pages 154-155, 208.
Note 1: Guns and carriages transferred from Fort Saulsbury, Battery Haslet, Jul 1944. CDSG Gun Card Collection from NARA
Battery 519 Plan

Current Status

Must See! Gun emplacement #1 has a 12" gun and carriage in place (not original), gun emplacement #2 is empty. This battery is slated to become one of largest coast artillery museums in the country and is still a work in progress. Access is by guided tour only, carefully check the website for dates and times and call for a confirmation. External access to emplacement #1 (front and rear) is currently (2018) restricted.

Demo of 12" Breech Operation.
Shell Cart Used to Position Shell at the Breech.
Fire Control Switchboard.
Demo Plotting Board.

The guided tour enters through the back entrance of emplacement #2 and proceeds down the long central corridor to the mounted gun and carriage in emplacement #1. Along the way, the shell and powder rooms have various displays depicting the equipment and operation of the battery. In one of the rooms is a display of the plotting board and associated equipment including the fire control switchboard and phone bank. All of the plotting room equipment was actually located in a separate bunker some distance from the Battery but the placement in the Battery gives the visitor a better view of how the Battery worked.

Our guided tour (2018) was excellent and included things that you never get to see, like the operation of a 12" gun breech and a demonstration of plotting operation with the visitors operating the components. Do not miss this tour!

Location: Battery 519 on Fort Miles, Delaware

Maps & Images

Lat: 38.77680 Long: -75.08732

See Also


  • U.S.Army, Supplement to the Harbor Defense Project of The Delaware, (HDDEL-AN-45), 1 Jul 1945, CDSG


Visited: 3 Aug 2010

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