In Flying Fish Cove there is a World War 2, Japanese archeological gem and yet it remains invisible to all even though it is in plain sight! I myself had passed it and had no idea it was there. Yet, when you do know about it, it seems quite obvious. I have to thank Razad Arshad and the late Dean Shaw as it was their discussion on a Facebook page as to the fate of the pillbox that alerted me to its existence.
Most excitingly, with many thanks again to Razad Arshad (who has kindly allowed me to show here his photos) you can see the site yourself.
Photos © Razad Arshad 2018
And now the big question. Is the pillbox still intact? What lies beneath? There is a long straight stone wall that runs on either side of the pillbox site and the only time its line deviates is to go around the pillbox. So this indicates to me that it wasn’t demolished, otherwise the wall would have just continued in a straight line.
I understand there was another pillbox too in the Flying Fish Cove area but it was demolished.
I thought it would be interesting to know a bit more about Japanese pillboxes and what the Christmas Island pillboxes may have looked like. Assuming that the Christmas Island pillbox was made of reinforced concrete then it would probably have looked something similar to the image below; perhaps though round. Pillboxes were also made of steel, logs and sand or other natural materials to hand.
… the Japanese may set their positions back from the coast line on high ground, with the intention of gaining complete control of ground and covering the beaches by fire alone, or if neighboring high ground is not available, their positions will be sited right at the water’s edge with the intention of engaging any landing troops in direct combat at the moment most difficult for them. The selected localities will be well laid out and positions carefully constructed, while they will include a number of strong points with interrelated fields of fire.
… The Japanese conduct of the defense is characterized by tenacity and a determination to fight to the last man and the last round. As a corollary, any attacking force which gains a foothold in a Japanese coastal defense position must expect to meet concentrated and accurate fire from flanking strong points and must be ready to withstand an immediate and determined attack.
TM E 30-480 Handbook On Japanese Military Forces, 1944. by United States. War Dept