During the Second World War, a Top Secret plan known as Operation Tracer was put into action to leave behind a surveillance team in Gibraltar in the event that it fell into enemy hands. A team of six men were to be literally bricked up in a bunker so that they could continue monitoring enemy movements from deep inside the Rock.
In the 1990s, a brick wall was found hidden behind some corrugated iron sheeting inside one of the many tunnels in Gibraltar. Behind it lay this military secret revealing its facilities and tunnels for the first time since the Second World War.
Behind this brick wall a gallery opened up with bare rock walls and a wooden floor which led to a spacious room measuring approximately 18 x 5.5m. The flooring in this room was made from cork tiles which would have provided great sound insulation. As you entered the room, you could see a sink and tap at the far right which was supplied by a metal water tank located just behind the southern wall.
Continuing from this room we entered a corridor leading to some stairs. The corridor also gave access to two rooms – one on the left with two toilets, and one on the right where the wiring and furniture made it clear it was a radio shack from which information on enemy movements would have been transmitted.
The stairs initially led to a natural opening in the rock which would have allowed the men to exit onto a small natural platform high up on the east side cliffs, where hidden in the undergrowth they would have seen the entire coastline towards Malaga.
Back inside and continuing up the stairs, there was another tunnel on the right which took a route in the opposite direction, westwards. This led to a small observation post with a narrow slit measuring 15 x 1.5cm cut into the western wall, through which most of the Bay of Gibraltar could be observed.
Fortunately, there was never a need to use these facilities.
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