After the Bristish took the pennisular in 1782 there was quite extensive trenchwork and tunnelling to defend the rock. For some reason the Spanish, just because it had always been part of Spain and was attached to Spain, thought that the British had not right to it. How strange? The British thought that, as they made up the rules and had captured it, they were entitled to it. That was the rule of victory. Everything we stuck a flag in was ours. That was how it worked. Besides, it was strategically important and we were determined to hold on to it.
There are now 34 miles of tunnels (a greater distance than roads). These tunnels had a number of purposes. Some had openings for cannon to be able to fire on Spanish positions. Some were for storage, water reservoirs, transport or shelter (including hospitals). Basically the rock was turned into an underground fortress that could house a garrison of 1600 soldiers.
They were very effective and saw off Spanish attacks and a few sieges.
It was interesting to have have a wander through them.
It is quite staggering to me, from my travels around the world, to see how much time, energy and resources have been spent building fortresses, castles, walls and fortifications. We are such a violent species. Wouldn’t it be nice if all those resources had been put into improving things for the people.
Are we becoming better?
I can dream