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Invasion 1x6

Coastal fortifications were constructed in New Zealand in two main waves: around 1885 as a response to fears of an attack by Russia, and in World War II due to fears of invasion by the Japanese.

Invasion 1x6

In the 1870s New Zealand was a young self-governing colony of Britain. It had developed no coastal defences of any consequence and was becoming increasingly sensitive to how vulnerable its harbours were to attack by a hostile power or opportunistic raider. Fears of invasion by the expanding Russian Empire were common, especially due to the founding of Russia's Pacific port at Vladivostok.[2]

The second main wave of building coastal fortifications occurred during World War II. This was mainly a response to a perceived threat of invasion by the Japanese after the attack on Pearl Harbor. From 1942 until 1944, when the threat receded, 42 coastal artillery fortifications or land batteries were either developed using historical fortifications or were built from scratch. The fortifications were built from British designs adapted to New Zealand conditions. Radar was installed which allowed long range shooting at night and replaced the traditional fortress system of range finding.[1]

In 1972 the United States declassified a contingency plan for invading New Zealand. This plan consisted of a 120-page intelligence document called Naval War Plan for the Attack of Auckland, New Zealand. The intelligence for the report was gathered during the visit of the Great White Fleet to Auckland over six days in 1908. The plan advocated Manukau Harbour as the best invasion point and landing heavy guns on Rangitoto Island to shell the forts on the North Shore. The plan was not very realistic and may have been an exercise to keep young officers busy (see United States war plans; which allocated the colour Garnet to New Zealand as part of War Plan Red).[71] 041b061a72


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