Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Kamagong Journals Part Thirteen: Corregidor Island (cont.)

I have a lot of pictures of the ruins of Corregidor Island that I am going to put into this post without the history lesson included on the previous post. It amazed me at the shear amount of concrete that went into barracks (seen above) and other buildings around the island. This particular barracks was a mile long! It also reinforces to me that nothing is permanent, not even concrete.

Mortar shell storage building.

The nearby mortars.

A room with a view that you never want to see.

With huge mortars nearby, I was struck by the word silence. I'm sure it was anything but silent here during the heat of battle.

Damaged door.

Empty ammunition bunkers and a spare gun barrel.

Gun barrel left behind.

There Philippines has a name for these trees but it escapes me. Most however, simply refer to them as spooky trees and bad luck. There is a central tree which is surrounded by another tree that wraps around it. I don't know about bad luck but I find it beautiful.

Remains of the island movie theater for the soldiers to watch the latest movies.

Another view of the movie theater from the outside.

The barracks in the top picture were in such bad shape that they were off limits to go inside. Not that I really needed to go inside because as this picture shows, there were plenty of holes from decay that allowed me to see inside and out the other.

Yet another building that is rotting apart. For only being 70 years old, I'm pondering why the concrete didn't hold up better. Is it the constant rain and humidity or poor quality concrete to begin with? I'm guessing the answer is probably both.


Rich said...

I think concrete structures usually fail because of the steel in the structure failing.

It failed because the rebar was undersized, there wasn't enough steel in the wall or column, it wasn't tied all together correctly, or it rusted and blew the concrete apart. Most likely, it was a combination of all of the above.

Added to all that, if they used something like beach sand for the concrete it would just accelerate the rusting of the steel and speed up the failure of the structure.

Ed said...

Rich - Good first point. I should have thought of that one too.

Anonymous said...

Didn't the navy and the air force pound the bejapers out of it when the retook the island.
What's a bit of a mystery to me is why they had siege mortars on an island. Are these japanese guns or were they some of the stuff they had in France in 1918. For by the time they might be useful you were in real bother. A battleship or heavy cruiser squadron could've stood off and pounded it to smithereens.

edifice rex said...

Hmm, nah, I believe it was faulty concrete to begin with. It looks as though the cement in the mix "died", as we say. Granted there does not seem to be much rebar in the walls, I don't believe it was a matter of that failing. Looks like maybe too much water in the mix when they poured or maybe the high humidity had affected the cement in the mix. If they did not have a good means of vibrating the forms they may have poured it wet in an effort to avoid voids. But, that's just my opinion. :)

Ed said...

Edifice Rex - Well your opinion weighs a lot heavier than my knowledge on the subject so I would tend to believe you may be right.

Ed said...

Vince - Yeah they did. There was also shelling by the Japanese when they took the island from the Americans.

All the hardware was American that I saw and all of that was installed prior to World War II when it was looking imminent and these islands were deemed strategic.

As far as the mortars, they were only on the far end of the island on a high point where they could reach the rest of the island. Still I did notice that they were pointed nearly vertical in all cases.

Anonymous said...

Huh, it seems the mortars were the gun of choice in coastal defence. They belched a man sized shell 7 miles at 45* with what seems to've been a trajectory that deployed gravity and the sheer weight of the shell to split the deck. And while seven mile was well short of the guns of battleships and cruisers of the day. The strategy was the pounding of the port not the installation holding the mortar. So since the installation like Corregidor and the fortifications before the Golden Gate stood well before the active base they brought any 16" gun platform well within range.
Can you imaging though the accuracy of the fire control to lob a shell 7 mile away onto a moving deck 750" long and 100" wide.

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