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American War Memorial by Gibraltar Rock Tours

 

 

AMERICAN STEPS

The American War Memorial by Gibraltar Rock Tours.

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The American War Memorial (also nicknamed as the ‘American Steps’) can be visited any time of day and is free of charge. It’s location between the reclaimed area of Gibraltar where many of the New housing estates are built and the centre of town make the steps a short cut to the shops so are used daily by many locals and tourists alike.

This Naval Monument is on the west side of Line Wall Road, very near casemates square and Main Street. Its steps lead down to what we nowadays know as Reclamation Road and Queensway, and if you turn into Chatham counterguard you can also find a nice selection of bars and restaurants if you want to catch a bite to eat.

The monument  was built for the American Battle Monuments Commission in 1933, and incorporated into the main city wall. The steps used to lead to the then busy harbour.

Our American visitors to the Rock May already know that the American Battle Monuments Commission is an agency of the United States government which operates and maintains 25 American cemeteries and 26 memorials in 16 countries. The Rock of Gibraltar being one of them.

Paul Philippe Cret , the monument’s creator was a French born Philadelphia architect and industrial designer born in 1876.

For more than thirty years, Cret taught in the Department of Architecture at the University of Pennsylvania.

The Monument is a masonry archway.Over the arch are two bronze seals of the United States and the Department of the Navy. It is constructed of stone from the Rock of Gibraltar and it commemorates the achievements and successful alliance of the U.S. Navy in the nearby waters with the British Royal Navy during World War I.

The monument was inaugurated in 1937 and Sixty one years later, on 7 November 1998, the Gibraltar-American Council and the Government of Gibraltar commemorated the anniversary of Operation Torch, The World War II Allied invasion of North Africa, with a bronze plaque at the American War Memorial.

General Dwight David “Ike” Eisenhower who was headquartered in Gibraltar, had led the invasion in November 1942. The plaque was unveiled by the then Chief Minister of Gibraltar Peter Caruana on the steps of the memorial.

The inscription on the plaque at the monument reads:

OPERATION TORCH – In memory of the British and American soldiers, sailors, and airmen who risked their lives in the liberation of North Africa in World War II. From their headquarters in Fortress Gibraltar, Lieutenant General Dwight David Eisenhower, United States Army, and Admiral Sir Andrew Browne Cunningham, Royal Navy, directed Operation TORCH, the first major combined combat operation during World War II involving American and British forces.

 On 8 November 1942, elements of the Allied expeditionary force landed simultaneously along the coastline of Morocco and Algeria. The lessons learned and the relationships forged between British and American forces and their leaders during this campaign would ultimately lead to the liberation of Europe. The Gibraltar-American Council November 1998.

The inscription on the north side of the monument reads:

Erected by the united states of America to commemorate the achievements and comradeship of the American and British navies in this vicinity during the world war

 

You can see the monument and bronze plaque in the photos above the blog but it’s never the same as seeing it with your own eyes……We do hope you come and visit Gibraltar. Take a daytrip to The Rock Gibraltar, don’t miss out, especially if you are already in the Costa del Sol. It’s such a lovely place to spend the day and of course remember you can book with us at Gibraltar Rock Tours. We guarantee a great tour and fun day.

Hope this has been helpful and thanks for taking the time to read our blog…. Til the next time.

 

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