MHG59849 - Submarine Mine Depot, US Naval Base 17 - Dalmore Distillery


No summary available.

Type and Period (1)

  • SUBMARINE MINE DEPOT (First World War - 1914 AD to 1918 AD)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

The United States Navy established two naval bases, at Inverness (Naval Base 18, see NH64NE 827) and Invergordon (Naval Base 17), where mines, shipped in pieces from the United States to the west coast of Scotland, were assembled, by US naval personnel, prior to being loaded onto American mine-laying ships. Two bases had to be established because Inverness Harbour was not large enough to accommodate enough mine-laying ships at once.
The mines were landed from the United States at Kyle of Lochalsh (from where up to 2,000 mines a week were moved by train to Invergordon) and Corpach (from where up to 1,500 mines a week were shipped through the Caledonian Canal to Inverness).
Using production line methods copied from the car industry, a total of up 1,340 mines a day was assembled at the two bases. The bases came into being in February 1918, the first mines arrived at Corpach on 5 April, and the first mines were assembled on 29 May. By the Armistice on 11 November the mine barrage was complete from Norway to within 10 miles of Orkney. 56,760 US mines had been laid in just over 5 months, and 16,300 British ones.
The precise location of the US facilities within the Royal Naval Dockyard at Invergordon is not known, but the US Official history of the work records the laying of railway lines out onto some of the dockyard piers. The HQ of the Base was a short distance to the west, at Dalmore distillery at Alness where the mine assembly sheds were built. The completed mines were then taken by train to Invergordon and loaded on to the ships. The submarine mining base may have used the pier at Dalmore, known locally as the Yankee Pier after the war when he barrage across the North Sea was removed.
Recorded as part of HS/RCAHMS World War One Audit Project, 2013. <1> <2>

GIS spatial data copied from data suplied by AKK from RCAHMS World War One Survey Project. <3>

Sources/Archives (3)



Grid reference Centred NH 6636 6851 (1035m by 567m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NH66NE
Geographical Area ROSS AND CROMARTY
Civil Parish ROSSKEEN

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