On 25 June 1941, a German minelayer named ‘Adjutant’ (pictured) successfully laid 10 mines at the entrance of Lyttelton Harbour without anyone knowing.
We only found out through captured German papers four years later. They were buried between 16 to 22 metres deep and the nearest was just 5km from the coast line, near Godley Head.
This German ship gave the same honours to the entry of Wellington Harbour just 24 hours later.
As New Zealand was gripped in fear of invasion, two 60 pound field guns and two 6 inch coastal artillery pieces were stationed on Godley Head.
The only real action the guns got was performing test warning shots. One of these practices ended in disaster when a local fishing boat named the ‘Dolphin’ was struck by a stray shell and one of two fishermen on board – James Brassell – was killed.
From then onwards, if there were any reasons for concern, a rifle was to be fired in the air as a warning.
For a more in depth look at Godley Heads, please check out the following link: http://www.peelingbackhistory.co.nz/godley-head-captain-joseph-thomas-1803/
*Image courtesy of Wreck Site – http://www.wrecksite.eu/