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Concrete Battleship : Fort Drum, El Fraile Island, Manila Bay [Paperback]

Francis J. Allen
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product details

  • Paperback: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Pictorial Histories Publishing Company, Incorporat (31 Dec 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0929521064
  • ISBN-13: 978-0929521060
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 22.2 x 27.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,510,096 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book on fortin Manila Bay 25 July 2009
Format:Paperback
1999, paper covers, 64 pages, illus, maps & plans.

Located at the mouth of Manila Bay, Fort Drum on El Fraile Island is unique in the development of United States coastal fortifications. Fort Drum is part of a chain of forts built across the entrance of Manila Bay in the Philippines to defend Manila from naval attack. The construction of Fort Drum began in 1909 by reducing tiny El Fraile Island to the low-water mark. Over the next ten years a multi-deck concrete island was built to mount two twin 14-inch guns in superimposed armored turrets.
The completed work rises 40 feet above sea level, while the fort is 350 feet long and 144 feet at its widest point. The exterior walls are up to 28 feet thick and the top deck attains a thickness of 20 feet. The interior of the fort held a large engine room, powder and shell rooms, mining casemate, storerooms and tankage, plotting rooms, and accommodations for 300 personnel. The design of Fort Drum followed a naval pattern with turrets, a caged mast, and secondary armament in side casemates. Due to these characteristics, Fort Drum became known as the "Concrete Battleship"
This revised and enlarged volume tells the story of the "Concrete Battleship" from its inception to the present day.
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Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Best history on the little-known Fort Drum 25 Sep 2010
By Andrew Y. Cheng - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A bit short and not much detail on WWII actions, hence the 4 stars. In all fairness, there may not have been many survivors from Ft. Drum after the "Death March".

Good history and background with many rare construction photos and design diagrams. I liked the modern day follow-up photos of how it looks now or least in the 1990's. However, Ft. Drum's use or non-use during Japanese occupation was never really discussed, only the subsequent disablement when the Philippines were liberated.

I would also recommend the Osprey Publications' booklet on Manila Bay defenses.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars elkdriver@hotmail.com 1 Aug 2001
By david - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
BOUGHT THIS BOOK ON A WHIM VERY INTERSTING ONLY 64 PAGES AND APROX 10X14 BUT PACKED WITH HISTORICAL INFORMATION, DETAILS ON CONSTRUCTION, COMBAT HISTORY AND LOTS OF BLACK AND WHITE PHOTOGRAPHS AND SOME EARLY DRAWINGS. CAPTIONS ARE WELL WRITTEN AND DO A GOOD JOB OF EXPLAINING THE PHOTOGARPHS. I RECOMEND THIS BOOK TO ANYONE WHO LIKES OFFBEAT MILITARY SUBJECTS. THE ONLY TWO THINGS I THOUGHT COULD BE IMPROVED WAS THERE WAS NOT ANY UP TO DATE DRAWINGS OF LAYOUT (DRAWINGS PROVIDED WERE OLD AND HARD TO READ) OR HARDLY ANY UP TO DATE OR COLOR PICTURES. MOST OF LATER PICTURES WERE TAKEN RIGHT AFTER WW2. IF YOU LIKE OFFBEAT MILITARY SUBJECTS THIS MIGHT BE THE BOOK FOR YOU.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rich detail give this small book a big punch! 29 Jun 2006
By Reuben Gathright - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Concrete Battleship is filled with minute historical details about the daily operations of this fort located in Manilla Bay. A fun read with loads of detailed photos taken during the construction and final days of this fort. The fort with it's imposing size and isolated location is sure to be the subject of question for years to come.

Make sure you check other books in this series!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but could have been a lot better 2 Dec 2013
By J. Jeffrey Donahue - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is not bad for a pamphlet. However, it could have been a lot better as some of the photographs inside the book were taken in the 1970s and 1980s and could have been reproduced in color. Also, there is undoubtedly much more information available about the construction and machinery of the fort than what was presented. Finally, I am reasonably certain that the description in the text of the thicknesses of the side and rear armor plates of the two main turrets of Fort Drum are incorrect, and I drew this conclusion by studying diagrams of the turrets that are reproduced in this pamphlet. Aside from the famous pictures of Fort Drum being destroyed by exploding petroleum that was pumped into the fort in 1945, very little has been published on Fort Drum. This treatise is not perfect but it is a lot better than nothing.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Too short 17 July 2013
By Dale - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you have an interest in coast artillery this could be a near-perfect book for you. It covers the planning, construction, operations and demise of the "Concrete Battleship" in Manila harbor. Spanning the time period from roughly the Spanish American War until Philippine independence after WWII, this book tells the story of two 14" gun turrets on a huge ship-shaped concrete fortification out in the middle of Manila Bay. Constructed by the US, captured by the japanese -- then recaptured by the US as WWII drew to an end. If the stories of lonely military outposts have an appeal to you, then this is your book. The fact that it is a small book is my only complaint. I would have liked more photos of the living quarters and a little more depth in the story line.
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