WW2 1939 – 1945

The Island was used as the Union’s coastal defence as evidenced by the high concentration of WW2 sites. Construction of the first of the Island’s two main gun emplacements was completed in April 1940. This was a 6” calibre gun in the Cornelia Battery which covered the Blouberg Channel. The second coastal battery, known as De Waal Battery (previously called Robben Island Battery) was added in 1942. Here 9.2” calibre guns were installed in November 1940 and July 1941.

The Cornelia Battery

Other construction on numerous sites around the Island included plotting rooms, an engine room, observation posts, fire control towers, search light sites, storerooms and underground bunkers that stored ammunition. A network of tunnels connected an extensive system of underground bunkers including a hospital, a power plant and ammunition dumps. Construction of the Murray’s Bay harbour was completed and some new roads were built. The airstrip was established and cables linking many new structures were laid. Pillboxes and rifle posts were added at the same time that the airstrip was being built.

ASWAAS rangetakers in and on top of the Battery Observation Post

Tour Details


Cape Town
Light Rain
05:4019:19 SAST
Feels like: 15°C
Wind: 18km/h NW
Humidity: 90%
Pressure: 1017.27mbar
UV index: 0


South Africans
R400 per adult
R210 per child (U/18)

Non South Africans
R600 per adult
R310 per child (U/18)

Tour Times
09:00  |  11:00  |  13:00  15:00