Welcome to Command HQ for FORTRESS ALCATRAZ, devoted to
military history of America’s notorious prison island. It is a
support site for the TenSpeed Press / Pacific Monograph book
by noted historian John Arturo Martini.
8/31/06 | Digging up a lost world

Go to the DEPOT page to check out a recent picture of a long-forgotten secret U.S. Army tunnel, buried since the 1930s.

8/16/06 | Another classic image

Go to the DEPOT page to see a recently discovered photograph, courtesy Faelyn Lackey, of US Army officers in full regalia on Alcatraz in 1893, and a then-and-now version at the IMAGES page.

8/15/06 | More reading

The Webmaster of one of the most popular Alcatraz sites — AlcatrazHistory.Com — has put a link to Fortress Alcatraz on his site.
Also, check out Hornblower Yachts’ new Alcatraz web site — author John Martini researched and wrote most of the content and provided virtually all the photos.

3/4/05 | Exiles of the Golden Gate

We’ve added an early newspaper story about Alcatraz to the DEPOTdepartment.

12/24/04 | Alcatraz in 360 Degrees

John Martini, Jim Delgado and Burl Burlingame spent a day scrambling around the hidden areas of Alcatraz to bring you Quicktime VR vistas of the island. Go here to see the island in every direction.

12/1/04 | Talking points

John Martini had a successful speaking engagement at the Presidio Officers Club in November. A special guest was Ray Stewart, son of the island’s last commandant, and who grew up on Alcatraz.

9/25/04 | A political prisoner?

In the DEPOT department, we’ve added an early newspaper story about a fellow sent to Alcatraz in 1862 because of his pro-Confederacy views. Seems he might be the first prisoner on Alcatraz, or at least the first political prisoner.

9/18/04 | Interviews!

John reports: I appeared live on KNTV and KPIX last Friday and Saturday respectively, so we’re getting my face out there if nothing else. The KNTV interview was a bit weird because I was in their SF studio while the newscaster talking with me was in their San Jose broadcast center. It was a bit disconcerting, talking to a TV camera and pretending to be speaking face to face, and I’m afraid my interview showed it – my eyes darted desperately after every question as I looked hopefully for someone to respond to.
The KPIX interview on Saturday AM went great. The newscaster was a history buff who had read the book, and we sat down over a table to discuss its contents while he held up 8×10 glossies and asked questions about what they showed. My wife taped both interviews and the contrast is remarkable.

9/17/04 | Modern photos

Check some of John’s own photography here.

9/14/04 | Updates

We’ve added some then-and-now photos to the Images section and some interesting links to the Signal Corps section.

9/12/04 | Television shows an interest

Today John was interviewed by the San Francisco KRON 4 morning talk show about FORTRESS ALCATRAZ. John provided a pile of images to the producers, which they played continously in the background.

9/9/04 | Animating an island

Check out this link for the KQED special called “Lonely Island, Hidden Alcatraz”: If you click on the category “How strong is the rock” you’ll eventually see the animation based on Burl Burlingame’s drawing in FORTRESS ALCATRAZ showing how the island has expanded in size. John was one of the featured historians on the popular program.

9/1/04 | Everything new is old again

Welcome to our Web site for FORTRESS ALCATRAZ! The new edition is just out from Ten Speed Press and, while it may look familiar, the entire book has been completely revamped, updated and put through the wringer. It also has about a dozen more photographs, plus four pages of original color plates. This site is actually an extension of the book and will feature updates and new material.