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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Forts of the Caribbean (3) Nassau

Nassau has a number of forts in a fairly small area protecting the harbor sheltered by Hog Island, now know as Paradise Island (sight of the Atlantis Hotel). The structure above is Part of Fort Charlotte as seen from the sea.  The Fort was constructed in the 1780s in part because parts of Nassau were briefly captured by the Continental Navy and Marries (more on that latter)
This is a larger section of the fort including some modern modification (or so I believe) that probably date from the 19th century. the fort commands the entrance to the harbor opposite the light house on Paradise Island.
A shot of Fort Charlotte from the English Polo Club grounds as you can see its a commanding position form sea or land.  Taking this position by storm would be very difficult.
Above is Fort Montague captured by Continental Marines in the Battle of Nassau in March of 1776. This is the oldest of the forts around Nassau dating from 1740. Continental Marines captured the fort armed with 17 cannons (or posibly more as one article claims the US captured 46 guns) at the time. The mission was to capture gunpowder stored in Nassau but there was only a limited supply in Fort Montague the rest was in Fort Nassau (which no logger exists).  The Marines did not get the gun powder but they did take off the cannon and a large supply of cannon ball. 
Sea ward view of Fort Montague sight of the first amphibious operation by the US Navy and Marine Corps. The walls are too low to defend against a determined ground assault but the fort could protect the sea ward aproach to the eastern end of Nassau Harbor.
The most interesting fort on Nassau from a design stand is Fort Fincastle built in 1793.  The position over looks the modern Cruise terminal/Festival Plaza. This is the landward side the other sides are covered by steep hills.  Tourist books describe the fort as looking like a paddle wheel steamer. 
Here is I am in from of the business end of the fort over looking the harbor(I am strategically blocking the tourist kiosk) .  The fort was armed with two 32 pound Carronades, two 12 pound and 2 24 pound cannon. The Carronades are on the grounds in front of the fort. The large white tower is a water tower located behind the fort.