DM Glen Douglas

Defence Munitions (DM) Glen Douglas is a military munitions depot located near Loch Long, Argyll and Bute, in Scotland. It is operated by Defence Equipment & Support, part of the Ministry of Defence.

DM Glen Douglas
Near Loch Long, Argyll and Bute in Scotland
RFA Fort Austin at the Glenmallan jetty on Loch Long.
RFA Fort Austin at the Glenmallan jetty.
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DM Glen Douglas is located in Argyll and Bute
DM Glen Douglas
DM Glen Douglas
Location in Argyll and Bute
Coordinates56°09′36″N 4°46′16″W / 56.159901°N 4.771220°W / 56.159901; -4.771220
TypeAmmunition depot
Area223 hectares[1]
Site information
OwnerMinistry of Defence
OperatorDefence Equipment & Support
Site history
Built1962 (1962)–1966
In use1966 – present


Glen Douglas munitions depot being constructed in 1966, showing tunnel entries into hillside

The facility was built between 1962 and 1966. As of 1989, it served NATO as a pre-positioned wartime ammunition depot, storing around 40,000 tons of missiles, depth charges, and conventional shells.[2] It is now used only by the UK.[3] The depot lies in Glen Douglas, a 6-mile (9.7 km) glen through which the Douglas Water flows east to Loch Lomond. The depot itself is near the glen's head, less than a mile from Loch Long. Arrochar is the nearest village.

In the 1970s, a jetty was built at Glen Mallan on Loch Long, linked to the depot via an Ministry of Defence (MoD) road.

It was known as NATO Armament Depot Glen Douglas and was used for munitions storage by the Royal Navy, the United States and the Netherlands. In 1993 the US withdrew from the site and the capacity was taken up by Royal Air Force munitions which were previously based at RAF Chilmark in Wiltshire, the RAF's last munitions depot prior to its closure in 1995.[4]

In January 2003, the aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal docked at the Glen Mallan jetty to stock up on supplies ahead of the impending invasion of Iraq. With the tacit backing of trade union ASLEF, Motherwell based EWS drivers working on a MoD contract refused to transport munitions to the depot, in opposition to what they branded a "rush to war".[5] The drivers' action was supported in an Early Day Motion in the House of Commons signed by 25 MPs.[6]


The depot covers and area of 226 hectares (2.26 km2) and contains 56 magazines built into a hillside, capable of storing 40,000 cubic metres of conventional weapons, typically bombs, various types of ammunition, explosives and pyrotechnics.[3]

Glenmallan JettyEdit

The Glenmallan Jetty is located on the edge of Loch Long, around 3 miles south of the main depot, to which it is connected by a military road which climbs along the western flank of Craggan Hill.[7] The jetty is capable of accommodating a variety of Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessels so that they can be loaded and unloaded with munitions as well as other provisions such as food and spare parts. The explosives license for the jetty allows up to 440 tonnes of explosives to be handled there.[3] The jetty is being upgraded to serve the Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers.[8]

Rail connectionEdit

The depot is served by a branch railway line to the West Highland Line at the former Glen Douglas Halt railway station.[9]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Defence Estates Development Plan (DEDP) 2009 - Annex A" (PDF). GOV.UK. Ministry of Defence. 3 July 2009. p. 4. Retrieved 17 February 2019.
  2. ^ United States Military Forces and Installations in Europe. SIPRI. 1989. ISBN 978-0-19-829132-9.
  3. ^ a b c Lisa Cole and Melanie Tanner. "Bombs, bullets, and Brimstone" (PDF). DLO News. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 July 2007. Glen Mallen Jetty offers considerable scope
  4. ^ Hanley, Mr (3 February 1994). "Written Answers to Questions – Glen Douglas Depot". Retrieved 18 February 2019.
  5. ^ "The Forgotten Story of How Scottish Train Drivers Tried to Derail the Iraq War". Vice. 5 July 2016. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  6. ^ "Early day motion 484 - ANTI-WAR ACTION BY TRAIN DRIVERS". UK Parliament. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  7. ^ Malcolm Spaven (December 1983). Fortress Scotland. Pluto Press. p. 133. ISBN 978-0-86104-735-2. Loch Long NATO jetty
  8. ^ "Upgrades to the Scottish facility used to ammunition the Royal Navy's aircraft carriers | Save the Royal Navy". 24 June 2019. Retrieved 21 February 2020.
  9. ^ Canmore (National Record of the Historic Environment)

External linksEdit