SABATON Saves The Heugh Battery Museum

Sabaton at Heugh Battery Museum 3rd March 2022
Photo: Mick Burgess

It’s not every day that the 25-pounder canon perched on the cliff edge at the Heugh Battery off the coast of Hartlepool is fired. It is only on those rare, special occasions such as Remembrance Sunday or the Queen’s Jubilee when the boom of the canon can be heard.

Today was planned to be one such occasion as Swedish Heavy Metal band, Sabaton, flew in to mark the re-opening of the Heugh Battery Museum which stands on the site of the only World War One battlefield in the United Kingdom where the German navy bombarded the coast of Hartlepool in 1914.

With events fast escalating over in the Ukraine, it was felt inappropriate to fire the gun at this sensitive time in world affairs, so instead, guitarist Chris Rorland, himself a veteran of the Swedish Army, tilted the gun barrel to the ground and burned the fuse in a symbol of peace. Rorland said “It’s a real honour to have been invited to the museum but it just didn’t feel right to fire the cannon today bearing in mind what is happening in the Ukraine. We want to show our support for peace but I will return when the time is right and will fulfill my pledge to be the first non-British veteran to fire the cannon”.

The longstanding museum had faced closure and when news of this was heard by the military history loving Sabaton, they took swift action to help raise funds through their worldwide fanbase to save this unique museum.

Sabaton have a long tradition of writing songs about events in military history including D-Day, The Great War, the Iraq War and The Falklands. Their stage show too, is heavily influenced by military themes including barbed wire topped sandbags, gun turrets and the Red Baron’s Tri-plane, not to mention a lot of smoke and fire making for quite a spectacle. They also have their own YouTube site called Sabaton History with almost 300,000 subscribers which features a range of documentaries giving context and background to their music.

Report and Photos By Mick Burgess

Exclusive interviews with Joakim Broden and Chris Rorland are coming soon on Metal Express Radio.

Sabaton’s new album The War To End All Wars is out on 4th March on Nuclear Blast.

Visit Sabaton’s YouTube site at Sabaton HistoryFor more on Sabaton see

The Heugh Battery Museum on The Ancient Headland at Hartlepool is open on Friday to Monday from 10:00am to 4:00pm. For further information visit:


  • Mick Burgess

    Mick is a reviewer and photographer here at Metal Express Radio, based in the North-East of England. He first fell in love with music after hearing Jeff Wayne's spectacular The War of the Worlds in the cold winter of 1978. Then in the summer of '79 he discovered a copy of Kiss Alive II amongst his sister’s record collection, which literally blew him away! He then quickly found Van Halen I and Rainbow's Down To Earth, and he was well on the way to being rescued from Top 40 radio hell!   Over the ensuing years, he's enjoyed the Classic Rock music of Rush, Blue Oyster Cult, and Deep Purple; the AOR of Journey and Foreigner; the Pomp of Styx and Kansas; the Progressive Metal of Dream Theater, Queensrÿche, and Symphony X; the Goth Metal of Nightwish, Within Temptation, and Epica, and a whole host of other great bands that are too numerous to mention. When he's not listening to music, he watches Sunderland lose more football (soccer) matches than they win, and occasionally, if he has to, he goes to work as a property lawyer.

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