Fort Drum, a huge battleship-shaped immovable concrete structure or popularly known as concrete battleship, located at El Fraile Island, is a Philippine historic and massive fortified structure located at the mouth of Manila Bay, Philippines. Fort Drum first came into existence after the 1898 Spanish – American war when the Americans acquired the Philippine archipelago which used to be a Spanish colony. This concrete battleship is the only unsinkable battleship in the world, and also one of the greatest military fortifications of all time. It took 11 years to construct Fort Drum, from 1909 to 1919.
This battleship structure was built on a 240 feet long, 160 feet wide, and 40 feet above sea water line. The walls are 30-40 feet thick and the deck was 20 feet deep. The unique structure was completed with armored turrets, making it ready for all sorts of sea attacks. Together with its massive armor and with some of the biggest cannons and guns, Fort Drum was considered as the most powerful American naval defense in the Philippines.
Way back during the Japanese invasion in the Philippines, Fort Drum was surprisingly able to cause heavy casualties at the attackers invading Corregidor, regardless of the undergoing shelling from Japanese howitzers nearby in Ternate, Cavite.
The concrete battleship was eventually surrendered to the Japanese invaders after the fall of Corregidor on May 6, 1942. The surrender of Fort Drum also marked the end of the American resistance in the Philippines.
The U.S. forces then came back on October 20, 1944, where they started the liberation of the Philippines. In 1945, during the US offensive in Manila, US forces pumped fuel into Fort Drum and ignited it, killing all the Japanese soldiers.
Fort Drum was named after Brigadier General Richard C. Drum who passed away the same year as Fort Drum’s construction. Today, this battleship remains as a ghost ship in the waters of Manila Bay.
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