PE of Yore: Star Fort – An Accidental Military Fortification

Call it what you like, but this crude fort had the distinction of being not merely the first military fortification in Algoa Bay – as Port Elizabeth was then called – but also the only fort in Port Elizabeth to experience military action. What would the future hold for this extemporised military fortification? Certainly, it should have been recognised much more than the Johnny-come-lately, Fort Frederick, which was unbloodied in war. Star Fort did not survive long which is quite understandable given the fact that it was hastily constructed and just as hastily abandoned.

Main picture:  There are no extant sketches of this fort other than this reference to Star Fort on the map of Cradock Place on which it is situated

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Port Elizabeth of Yore: The Solitary Naval Engagement in Algoa Bay

Apart from one naval engagement between British and French warships in Algoa Bay, Port Elizabeth has been spared the horrors and depredations of war. Compared with other naval engagements such as those in the Pacific Ocean during WW2, this one can justifiably be rated as minor. 

Having said that, during this Napoleonic era, with tensions between the dominant maritime nation, Great Britain, and the pretender to the “throne,” France, being white hot, any misstep in the southern oceans placed the British position on the Indian subcontinent in danger.

Main picture:  Fight between the ship of the line, Jupiter and the French frigate, Preneuse

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