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. However in July 1940 two ships failed to identify themselves and were fired on.
They quickly turned on their lights to reveal themselves as refugees from the Channel Islands. In 1938 alterations were made to the fort to allow it to be used as a central anti-aircraft ammunition depot for the south west, this included installing an electrically operated hoist and constructing a loading platform.
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. The anti aircraft emplacement in Nothe Gardens consisted of 4 x 3.7 inch Vickers.