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Fort Rodd

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Fort Rodd is a National Historic Site located at the entrance of Esquimalt Harbour near Victoria. Royal Navy vessels had first arrived in this area in 1776 when Captain James Cook, during his voyages of exploration charted the coast of BC and established a claim for Britain to the Pacific Northwest. Captain George Vancouver followed in his footsteps in the 1790's when he circumnavigated Vancouver Island and charted the coast in detail.

As competition in the Pacific Northwest developed with the Spanish, and then the Americans and Russians, Britain established a Naval base in Esquimalt in order to maintain a permanent military presence in the area. In 1893, 300 troops arrived to set up a coastal fort and battery to protect the naval base from attack. 6 inch breech loading batteries were installed by 1897 and a cost sharing scheme worked out between Britain and Canada.

The relationship was not to last due to the naval arms race in Europe between Britain and German. As the German fleet grew, the Royal Navy was forced to start to recall many of it's ships in order to maintain it's lead over the German High Seas Fleet in the North Sea. In 1905 the British Pacific squadron was disbanded with 3 old sloops left in Esquimalt. Of the 300 troops garrisoned at Fort Rodd, 60 remained and transferred to the Canadian military. Fort Rod today offers the visitor an opportunity to inspect the gun batteries, magazines, command post, barracks and searchlight emplacements. It also offers an incredible view of the entrance to the Pacific Ocean and the Olympic Peninsula in the US.

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Source: NA

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