The town’s main fort is now derelict despite being the site of the well-documented Battle of Mirbat. Nine soldiers kept 300 insurgents from taking Mirbat during this battle in 1972, during the Dhofari insurrection. The British armed forces were called in by the Sultan to assist and two British Victoria Crosses were earned by the Special Air Service (SAS) but not awarded, to help keep the war out of the public eye.
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Mirbat Castle is a square multi-story structure which, in 1972, sat adjacent to and was part of a series of sandbagged trenches, firepits, barracks, latrine and a team room known as the British Army Training Team (BATT) house. The BATT house was run by nine S.A.S., with Captain Mike Kealy in charge. The entire base covered several hundred meters and was girded by barbed wire, which reached to the nearby Mirbat bay. For support, they counted on an additional 40 Omani and Pakistani soldiers, and used the base to conduct operations and guard the approach to the Port of Mirbat, vital to Oman’s economy and an important objective of PFLOAG.