A fact that may be little known is that the Maldives was also part of World War Two history and supported the British Armed Forces. Here are some insights into this period.
A Strategic Outpost
While today it is known for its private island Maldives resort options the likes of Kurumba Maldives, during World War Two, the country was also a strategic outpost in the Indian Ocean. This happened in 1941 when the Addu Atoll was used by British Armed Forces who established a secret base here.
Utilising the Atoll
In this atoll, Gan Island was chosen as the place where this secret base, known as “Port T” was constructed. There were more developments as well including the building of underground bunkers for bombs and supplies on Maradhoo Island and a seaplane base at Hithadhoo Lagoon.
Attack on the British
In 1944, the British Loyalty oil tanker in the Addu Lagoon was torpedoed by a German submarine; though hit, the tanker did not sink and after being repaired, was subsequently used as a storage hulk. In 1946, a year after the war ended, the British Loyalty was scuttled and today is a major spot for diving in Maldives!
Remembering the Fallen
Those visiting Gan Island have a chance to take in the war memorial that can be found here. Located at the former Royal Air Force Headquarters, it features two large guns and a stone pillar; at this site, one will find the names of the servicemen who died on the island during the war.