Towers at the
are World War II relics
Some visitors to the Delaware
coast wonder about the string of concrete towers that stretches
along the beach south of Cape Henlopen.
They are remnants of a World War
II defense system centered on Fort Miles, an Army post which
occupied the ground that is now Cape Henlopen State Park. A
small portion of the fort is being restored as an historic site.
Observers in the towers were to
direct the big coast artillery guns mounted in the fort to
targets in Delaware Bay. The remains of some of the bunkers are
visible today to vacationers using the beaches.
As it happened, no enemy ships
ventured to challenge the defenders. With what remained of the
German surface navy bottled up on the European continent,
U-boats were the only weapons available.
While they were effective --
particularly in the early months of the war -- against oil
tankers and other merchant vessels along the U.S. Atlantic
coast, their captains knew better than to enter the bay where
relatively shallow depth offered little sanctuary.
When Germany surrendered in May,
1945, two submarines were on station on this side of the ocean.
Escorted by intercepting U.S. destroyers, they came into
American ports. One landed at Lewes and proved to be the last
effective German military unit to give up.
Contrary to what you hear on the
radio, the principal city in Delaware is WilmingTON, not
The city and other municipalities
have fixed boundaries and, despite what the traffic reports say,
Wilmington has no Talleyville, Bellefonte nor Richardson Park