Sunday, May 20, 2007

Views From an Observation Tower

Created with Paul's flickrSLiDR.

Yesterday I climbed the Observation Tower at Fort Miles in Cape Henlopen State Park and took a 360-degree set of views from the top.

The tower is one of a network that stood sentry along Delaware's Atlantic coastline during World War II. They were used to watch for enemy warships and direct coastal defense battery fire should an enemy appear. The system was never called into action, though I believe at least one German U-Boat surrendered at Lewes at the end of the war.

This is the only tower that is still open to the public.

I started facing more or less west and took a photo through an opening in the chain-link fencing that keeps people from going over the edge of the tower. I took a wide side-step to my right and took another. Took another step and another picture. And so on, around the tower.


Shirley Vandever said...

Ok, that's it ! Every time you make a post on Cape Henlopen State Park, my significant other and I say "We have to go there". I haven't been there since I was a kid.

This weekend is looking good !

Great pictures !

Nancy Willing said...

Shirley GOOD FOR YOU! I am going to go to the Markell bash in a few weeks in Milton so I'll head for the ocean then.
My late bff, Tom Daniels took up residence in one of the towers nearest to Whiskey Beach with a girl for the summer awwwwwwwways back, cira 1968.

Shirley Vandever said...

"Things got pretty interesting for the folks at Fort Miles in Spring of 1945. Earlier that year Germany decided in a last ditch effort to disrupt allied supply lines by launching "Operation Seawolf." It was an attempt to demoralize the US by sinking as many allied ships crossing the Atlantic as possible. Part of this task force was U-858 - a type IXC/40 attack submarine - under the command of Thilo Bode. However, when 858 reached the North American coastline the war in Europe had already ended. On 14 May 1945 U-858 surrendered to the United States at Fort Miles. She was the first German vessel to surrender to US forces. U-858 spent a short time docked at Fort Miles until it was towed to the Philadelphia Naval Yards. It remained there until 1947 when it was taken to a position off the coast of Cape Cod and sunk using an experimental new torpedo".

Anonymous said...

I have heard rumors that Kapitan Bode returned to Lewes to live out the rest of his life. Do you have any knowledge of this?

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