Gibraltar WW2 Tunnel Tour 2 (Great North Road)

This is a guided tour of a substantial section of the WW2 tunnels known as The Great North Road. The road runs inside the Rock and provides access to a number of key areas such as the old Brigade HQ where General Eisenhower commanded the Anglo American invasion of North Africa known as Operation Torch 1942.

The tour must be arranged in advance.

Contact:

Pete Jackson – Gib mobile 54011358

This section of tunnel is still overseen by the military who provide an official Guide. The tour takes approximately 2 hours. The tour normally starts at an entrance behind the Casino building, and proceeds through several large chambers visiting Brigade Headquarters and continues for almost one mile arriving at the Calpe Hole Generating Station.

Several large flat roofed chambers provide space for vehicles and storage, the photograph below shows old WW2 submarine nets still intact in the corner of one chamber.

It was in one of these chambers that the Royal Engineers had diner to celebrate their centenary of their Corps. The photograph below shows the plaque placed on the wall to mark this event.

During WW2 a veritable underground city developed providing safe bombproof accommodation for a garrison of 16,000 and enough food to last sixteen months. There was an underground telephone exchange, a generating station, a water distillation plant. a hospital, a frozen food store, a bakery, ammunition magazines and a vast underground REME shed where damaged vehicles and equipment could be repaired.

The spoil from mining was used to extended the airstrip to 1550 yards and later to 1800 yards when it was required for the attack on North Africa.

In November 1942, General Eisenhower set up his headquarters in Gibraltar prior to Operation Torch, the plan to capture French North Africa and join up with Montgomery’s victorious 8th Amy, clearing the Germans and the Italians from the African continent.

One of the original Nissen huts still survives at the Brigade HQ. Most chambers were constructed for the placement of standard Nissen huts, complete with windows which helped the inhabitants feel to some extent in more comfortable surroundings rather than being surrounded by cold damp rock.

A number of large chambers known as Peterborough Chambers extend deep into the rock off the Great North Road adjacent to Brigade HQ.

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