The first soldiers to be garrisoned at Nothe Fort were No.2 Battery Royal Artillery (Tatton-Browns) a specialist gun emplacement unit trained in the handling of cannons up to 18 tons. They were responsible for installing the original cannons; these were 2 x 64 pounders, 4 x 9 inch cannons and 6 x 10 inch cannons.
As Portland Harbour grew in importance and became the main base for the Channel and later the Atlantic fleets, so Nothe Fort remained an important element in the defences of the naval base.
With the advent of breach loading (BL) guns the 12 riffle muzzle loaded (RML) cannons were removed and three 6 inch guns were emplaced on the Ramparts. These new guns had a greater accuracy and better rate of fire than the 12 muzzle loaded guns. The armour piecing shell of the 6 inch gun weighed 100 pounds and had a range of 10 miles.
Nothe Fort did not see action against an enemy until World War 2, when the main threat came from the air. Until then the heavy 6 inch guns had mainly been fired in training and in competitive events.
During World War 2 the fort was equipped with a Vickers pom-pom which was sited on a platform built on the north-west corner of the fort; this was later replaced by a 40 mm Bofors. The main anti aircraft guns on the Nothe Peninsula were emplaced in Nothe Gardens, in the area that is now the car park nearest the fort.
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PERSONNEL AT THE FORT
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