Fire Control sites

Submitted by David on Fri, 05/11/2012 - 18:00

Here is the second batch of Places from Rob Weir's research. The first [1] showed the artillery batteries around Hong Kong. This batch records Fire Control sites and buildings. These housed the people and equipment responsible for identifying targets, then telling the gunners where to aim their gun so they'd hit the target.

Here they are on a map (subscribers, please click here to view it on the website):

Rob has further subdivided them by purpose. First came the:

  • Position Finding Cell (see map): These are the oldest of this group. They were an early form of Battery control.

Next are the sites linked to an individual battery:

  • Battery Plotting Room (BPR - see map): They received information from the local Battery and the FPR (see below) and used it to calculate ranges and bearings of targets.
  • Battery Command Post (BCP - see map). Housed the Fire Commander who co-ordinated the information necessary for target and gun selection.
  • Battery Observation Post (BOP - see map): Controlled the battery's guns firing at long range, either as a group, or individually.
  • Close Defence / Night BOP (see map): Controlled battery guns at short ranges (Close Defence), particularly in poor visibility or in collaboration with searchlights at night. 

Then come the components of the Fortress Rangefinding System, which was established in the mid-1930s

  • Fortress Plotting Room (FPR - see map): Co-ordinated reports from the FOP's, which was then sent on to appropriate Battery Plotting Rooms.
  • Fortress Observation Post (FOP - see map): Reported to FPR by telephone / telegraph on potential or actual targets within its area of responsibility, and corrections / effect of battery fire.

Rob notes that this is far from a complete record:

Many of the older Batteries e.g. Belchers, various ones on Stonecutters Island, etc., had known bits of this Fire Control, but all have been obliterated over the years, without any record.

If you know anything about these missing sites, please let us know in the Comments below, or even better create a Place for the site you're describing.

Thanks to Rob for sharing his research with us.

Regards, David


  1. British Artillery batteries around Hong Kong


Very useful post David, thanks for linking Rob's info. I have only 1 question.

Where do AOP's fit into all of this?

Were AOP's just forward observation posts that reported 'potential/actual targets' to the FOP for eventual communication to the FPR's , etc? 

Any info would be great from anyone.