The Hong Kong Museum of Coastal Defence [hk.coastaldefence.museum] is located in an old British fort overlooking one of the entrances to Victoria Harbour. On the eastern end of Hong Kong Island, the fort is high atop a hill and still has many of the original structures originally installed by the Brits in 1887.
The museum’s permanent exhibit features 11 small galleries describing the defence of Hong Kong from the Ming Dynasty, through the Opium Wars, British rule, World War II, to modern Chinese rule. Built in a modern steel and glass structure erected on top of the original fort, each of the small galleries can be seen in 5-10 minutes and includes stories and artifacts from each period. Outside of the main buildings you can look at some of the original structures including defensive strongholds and barracks which used to defend the fort. It was sobering to stand at those sites and consider that many people must have died on those spots when this fort fell to the Japanese in WWII.
Currently there is a special exhibit featuring the Winnipeg Grenadiers and the Royal Rifles, two WWII regiments of the Canadian forces sent to protect British Hong Kong from Japanese invasion. These troops were rushed into battle without proper weapons and training for the terrain and suffered heavy losses. Nearly all the Canadians were killed or taken as prisoners of war.
Walking down the hill to the water level you will find the torpedo station that the British built [hk.coastaldefence.museum] to test and launch torpedos into the channel before the turn of the last century. The Brennan Torpedo was the first that could be controlled to direct the torpedo at a specific target. You can still see the tunnel that torpedos were launched from running out into the harbour.
Located a short walk from the Shau Kei Wan MTR station [hk.coastaldefence.museum], the Hong Kong Museum of Coastal Defence is easily a half day excursion, although you will want to make sure that you stop for a snack near the MTR station [averagetraveller.com] afterwards..
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