Gin Drinkers' Line, New Territories, Hong Kong

The Gin Drinkers' Line was Hong Kong’s principal fixed defence network, its own ‘Maginot Line’, built in the mid- to late 1930s to fend off a potential landward attack from the north. This network consists of tunnels and bunkers, including Shing Mun Redoubt, the Line’s defensive headquarters. The Gin Drinkers' Line was, however, quickly overrun in the initial phases of the Japanese invasion of Hong Kong in December 1941 and was never used thereafter.

Located along parts of the MacLehose Hiking Trail in the New Territories, parts of the war-damaged structure can be accessed and have become the destination of privately-run heritage tours, despite official signs encouraging visitors to stay away from the wartime relic. While not maintained by the authorities, Shing Mun Redoubt has intermittently been ‘cleaned up’ by self-proclaimed heritage protectionists and features in some guidebooks to historic sites of Hong Kong.

Source: Daniel Schumacher

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