Wan Chai Gap Artillery Observation Post [1939- ] | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Wan Chai Gap Artillery Observation Post [1939- ]

Photos that show this place


Thanks for the photos of this AOP. I haven't been for a look yet, so it's good to see them.

The other AOPs I've seen are all intact, so I wonder why this one got the demolition treatment? Could you see whether it was damaged during the fighting, or taken apart some time after the war?

Regards, David

Thanks to Rob for his accurate Position Marker for this AOP. Easiest access to it is by walking up Blacks Link from Wanchai Gap until you reach this right-angle corner.

aop on mount cameron near wanchai gap

There's no path down to the AOP so just push through the bushes on the outside of the bend. You're on a broad ridge that runs down to the residential development called "Opus Hong Kong" on Stubbs Road. Follow the crest of the ridge, the undergrowth isn't very thick. After a short distance the rear of the AOP comes into sight through the trees.

aop on mount cameron near wanchai gap

It's a ruin. This is the view from the rear wall and shows that the roof has collapsed into the structure.

aop on mount cameron near wanchai gap

Its identity as an Artillery Observation Post is confirmed by the presence of the characteristic V-shaped front wall containing the "eyebrow" above the observation slit found in other AOPs, but not in pillboxes or other bunker-like structures. Here's the view of the front.

aop on mount cameron near wanchai gap

 A close-up of the "eyebrow" shows it's been split in half horizontally by whatever force destroyed the AOP. The semi-circular concrete blobs that were presumably added to create shadows on an otherwise smooth surface, and so assist in camoflaging the structure, are clearly seen.

aop on mount cameron near wanchai gap

The V-shaped sill of the observation slit is apparent between the two halves of the  broken "eyebrow". A rusted metal strip, part of the frame which would have housed its metal shutters, remains. This photo also confirms that the AOP contained only one observation slit.

aop on mount cameron near wanchai gap

This view, taken from the front, shows how the structure was almost buried within the earth, and that the only entrance/exit was in the rear of its west wall.

aop on mount cameron near wanchai gap.

A short cutting leads away from the entry.

aop on mount cameron near wanchai gap

I wonder when the building was destroyed? I'm not aware of any reports of it happening during the war, so presume it was later.

The fact that the "eyebrow" is split in half horizontally suggests that drilling was not the cause of the damage as the easiest way to collapse the "eyebrow" would be to drill vertically down from above the ends of the observation slit, rather than horizontally along its whole length. Also the large crack in the east wall seen in the last-but-one photo above doesn't look like it was caused by drilling. If not drilling, then perhaps a controlled explosion was used to destroy the building, but I didn't notice evidence of holes for the charges in the walls. 

However it was destroyed, the question of why bother arises, given that the site has never been developed and the nearby Mount Nicolson AOP and Wanchai Gap Pillbox remain intact.

Is there a possibility that this AOP was destroyed by Japanese artillery ?

I think it is possible, considering that there were accounts of dive bombings/shells landing in the Stubbs road/Magazine Gap vicinity. It would seem odd for the government to destroy it (post war) if it was already out of the way as it is.