De Waal Battery

contains the only moving, restored 9.2 inch gun

The De Waal Battery with its 9.2 inch guns was built during World War II to defend Cape Town. The last gun was only installed after the war.

The battery was later named in honour of Brigadier Pieter de Waal, Naval and Marine Chief of Staff, who built up the coastal defences of South Africa.

Of the original 98 9.2 inch guns that did service worldwide during the war only about 28 remain. Of these 28, 12 are in South Africa. The De Waal Battery No. 3 gun is the only one in the world that has been restored as a moving display.

No. 3 gun was manufactured by the Royal Gun Factory at Woolwich, London, in 1901. It arrived in the Cape in November 1940. It weighs 140 tons and had a range of almost 30 km at supercharge. Each piece was brought to Robben Island from the mainland using a barge specially constructed for this purpose. The gun was erected by human muscle using only a hand operated 20 ton gantry.

Coastal guns were declared obsolete in 1958.

Modern technology has resulted in No. 3 gun being able to be operated by one tour guide as opposed to several gunners as would have been required during World War II.

De Waal Battery Gun No. 3

De Waal Battery Gun No. 3 (photo SA Navy)


  • Decimal degrees: -33.814083 (Latitude) 18.370583 (Longitude)
  • Degrees, Minutes & Seconds: S33 48 50 (Latitude) E18 22 14 (Longitude)
  • GPS: S 33 47.845 (Latitude) E 18 22.235 (Longitude)
  • UTM: 34S 256619 (X) 6255349 (Y)
  • Above sea level: 75 ft / 23 m

... also on Robben Island.