“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Newport in Newport County, Rhode Island — The American Northeast (New England)

Southwest Battery

Southwest Battery Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, October 8, 2011
1. Southwest Battery Marker
During the late 19th century the Southwest battery was the advanced position for directing fire against the enemy’s warships. It was here that the giant Rodman cannons hurled their massive 15’ projectiles, each weighing over 300 pounds, to a range of two and one-half miles.

From this location, it is also possible to see remnants of Fort Adams’ role during World War II. The entire coastal defense of southeastern New England was commanded from Fort Adams. An anti-submarine net was stretched from Fort Adams to Jamestown to prevent the entry of Axis submarines. Two observation posts were installed on the West wall of Fort Adams with commanding views of Narragansett Bay.

[ Along Bottom of Marker : ]
Fort Adams was armed with eleven massive fifteen inch Rodman guns during the late 19th century. Two were mounted on this southwest bastion. In the event of an attack, these guns would have been the Fort’s main batteries and would have concentrated their fire on the larger of the enemy ships. Imagine what a 300 pound projectile fired from over 2½ miles away would do to the hull of a wooden ship.

The huge steel anti-submarine nets were designed to prevent a submerged U-boat from entering the port. The first net in the continental United States was laid in the fall of 1941 and closed the east
Southwest Battery Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, October 8, 2011
2. Southwest Battery Marker
passage at Fort Wetherill. Made in two sections, one end of each section was anchored to the shore. The other ends were held by net tending ships stationed in the channel where they could open and close the barrier like a giant bi-fold door. The nets were part of an intricate system of underwater listening devices, minefields, and anti-submarine ships.
Erected by Fort Adams State Park.
Location. 41° 28.676′ N, 71° 20.345′ W. Marker is in Newport, Rhode Island, in Newport County. Marker can be reached from Fort Adams Drive, on the left when traveling north. Click for map. Marker is located inside Fort Adams. Marker is in this post office area: Newport RI 02840, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Between the Wars (within shouting distance of this marker); Defending From Land Assault (within shouting distance of this marker); Changing Role of the Fort (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Three Tiers of Firepower (about 500 feet away); A Giant Among Forts (about 600 feet away); Building a Fortress (about 700 feet away); Fort Adams Foundation (about 700 feet away); Erich A. O’D. Taylor (about 700 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Newport.
More about this marker.
Marker in Fort Adams image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, October 8, 2011
3. Marker in Fort Adams
A picture of the Rodman guns firing from the Southwest battery appears at the lower left of the marker. Three other photos depict a German submarine, a squadron under fire, and anti-submarine nets in the bay. A map of Narragansett Bay underwater facilities also appears at the bottom of the marker.
Also see . . .  History of Fort Adams. Fort Adams State Park website. (Submitted on October 10, 2011, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.) 
Categories. Forts, Castles
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 428 times since then and 66 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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