Book now the best Gibraltar Military History Tours
Gibraltar Military History Tours is one of our most popular and on-demand tours. See below why.
Gibraltar’s Military History
Military History Tours in Gibraltar are among our current portfolio’s most popular and on-demand tours.
This is clearly of no surprise due to the significance of Gibraltar as a Military Strategic location. This strategic importance can be dated back to the Greek Empire. Such matter is evident as Gibraltar is described as one of the Pillars of Hercules.
Military presence then became more evident during the Moorish invasion of Europe from 711 AD to the Spanish invasion of the rock in 1462. Luckily some of the Military Structures are still intact to date.
On our tours, you will get to see from first hand all the Moorish Installations, including the Tower of Homage and the Northern Defences, which date back to the Moors. Spanish Military Fortifications are still intact, including the Charles V Wall.
Gibraltar Military History Tour
Best tour in town
Great Siege & WWII Tunnels
Private Guide + Tickets
One Way Transfer
Parson's Lodge Battery Tour
In conjuction with the Museum
Rare exclusive tour
The majority of the Military History emerges from British Occupation from 1704 to date.
The apparent remaining Military Installations are from the 18th Century (Great Siege period) and both World Wars eras. It was during this period that Enemies extensively tested Gibraltar’s military importance. Gibraltar became home of the Royal Navy, and successful military operations were conducted by Allied Forces, including Eisenhower’s US Military Operation onto North Africa.
We will share how our past military installations enabled Gibraltar to become an impenetrable fortress and developed as a strategic Military Naval Base.
Qualified official guides deliver our Military History Tours. The price includes a Ticket to the Nature Reserve and taxi transportation.
Suggestion: why not combine your Military History Tour with a Tour of the Gibraltar Botanical Gardens, South District, or Inner City Walking Tours. Alternatively, you can also check the rest of all the other Gibraltar Tours available for you.
Gibraltar Military Tourist Attractions
Below is a list of all the military tourist sites available to view and explore during your visit to Gibraltar. Some of the sites range between the 18th Century to WW2.
World War II Tunnels
With Italy’s admission into the war and Germany’s dominance of Europe, Gibraltar’s strategic importance expanded. The need for storage grew urgent and critical; space became even more important; stocks, food, and equipment had to be built up and safeguarded; and troops needed siege quarters. A tunnel system would satisfy these requirements, providing complete protection from all known methods of air assault as well as sea and land bombardment at the time.
What amounted to a subterranean metropolis was housed in the tunnels. The whole 16,000-strong garrison, as well as enough food to sustain them 16 months, could be held there. An underground telephone exchange, a power generating station, a water distillation plant, a hospital, a bakery, ammunition magazines, and a vehicle repair facility were all located within the tunnels. The complete tunnel network within the Rock is roughly 34 miles (55 kilometers) long.
Princes Caroline Battery / Military Heritage Centre
Princess Caroline’s Battery, a historic artillery battery located at the northern end of the Gibraltar Nature Reserve, Upper Rock, above the Moorish Castle, now houses the Military Heritage Centre. It was built in 1732 and named for King George II’s third daughter. During the Great Siege of Gibraltar, the battery was damaged and needed to be repaired. The battery was equipped with a 9-inch rifled muzzle loading cannon, as well as an Elswick Ordnance Company carriage and platform, in 1871.
The battery was rebuilt in 1905 to allow for the installation of a 6 inch Mark VII cannon on top of the magazine. The identical hoists that were used to equip the weapon are still extant, despite the fact that the battery has been decommissioned and the gun has been removed.
The Princess Caroline’s Battery Military Heritage Centre is a tiny subterranean display space. The structure also houses the Memorial Chamber, which houses remnants from the battery.
Weapons, shells, and other artefacts are among the artefacts on display, which range from the seventeenth century to the present. The roll call of regiments sent to Gibraltar during the early eighteenth century may be seen in the Memorial Chamber. In addition, the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy ensigns are on display in the Memorial Chamber. A memorial honouring British regiments can also be found.
Great Siege Tunnels
During the American Revolutionary War, during Gibraltar’s 14th Siege, also known as The Great Siege, which lasted from July 1779 to February 1783, the then Governor General Eliott is said to have offered a reward to anyone who could tell him how to get guns on to a projection from the precipitous northern face of the Rock known as the Notch.
Sergeant Major Ince of the Company of Military Artificers, forerunners of the Royal Engineers, proposed tunneling as a way to do this. On May 25th, 1782, permission was obtained, and Sergeant Major Ince began construction under the guidance of Lieutenant J. Evelegh, a Royal Engineer and the Governor’s Aide de Camp.
The tunnellers depended on the strength of their arms, on their talents with a sledgehammer and a crowbar, and were also supported with gunpowder for blasting. In under five weeks, 18 men drilled a tunnel through the Rock that was 8 feet square (2.40m2) and 82 feet long (25m). Compare this to the record of a fully mechanized tunnelling company in Gibraltar during World War II, which moved 180 feet in a week (55m).
When the defeated Commander of the French and Spanish soldiers, the Duc de Crillon, was shown the defenses that had resulted to his troops’ loss at the end of the Great Siege in 1783, he said, “These works are worthy of the Romans.” This statement illustrates the inventiveness of those guys who, despite all odds, survived the onslaught of the oncoming army and devised a unique defense system that allowed them to win.