Virtually invisible from the sea, Cape Town’s network of 9.2” guns were a great deterrent and according to Gen Graham Moodie, who was in charge of the guns during WWII, they may well have prevented a Japanese attack on Cape Town, an event that would have changed the balance of power in the Indian Ocean much to the disadvantage of the Allies.
The interior of one of the Apostle Battery’s turrets c.2000. Since then there has been an enormous amount of damage done by thieves removing vast quantities of brass components from all three guns. It is a tragedy that such things could happen within a World Heritage Site.
This 28 ton, 9.2” gun barrel delivered a 170 kg explosive shell to a target almost 30 km away. At its optimal elevation a shell would be in the air for around 5 minutes. The gun barrels date around 1902 and were probably salvaged from Britain’s obsolete battleships before being installed on the then most modern mountings c.1942.
Hout Bay was a popular training ground for Cape Town’s Regiments. Seen here are soldiers of the Costal Defence Corps in camp on Kronendal Farm.
A nation that turns its back on its history, the lessons and experiences of the past, good or bad, undermines the foundations of its future.