Ouistreham Château d’eau battery – Wn 12
German batteries of the Atlantic Wall in Normandy
Unit: 4th battalion, 1716th Artillery Regiment
Codename: Wn 12 (Germans) – Daimler (Allies)
Artillery guns: 4x 155 mm sFH 414 (f)
Outcome: Under British control on 6 June 1944
The Ouistreham-Château d’eau battery, also known under the codification Wn 12, prevents any crossing by ships from the Orne estuary and the Canal de Caen. The site is nicknamed “Daimler Battery” by the Allies.
Construction and composition of the Daimler battery
Initially a horse-drawn battery, the Wn 12 strongpoint is finally endowed from the year 1943 with four casings with adjoining bunkers, then four casemates type Regelbau H669 with various shelters, a minefield coded Mf 96, two bunkers type H607. The constructions are interconnected by a network of trenches.
The main armaments consist of four 155 mm aging French howitzers (dating from the First World War) manufactured by Schneider (155 mm FH414) and requisitioned by the Germans.
Due to the advanced age of the guns, gunners voluntarily reduce their maximum range by seven kilometers, from eighteen to eleven kilometers.
The battery has two 20mm anti-aircraft guns (Flak 30), one 50mm mortar, one MG 42 machine gun and five MG 34 machine guns to protect its site.
The Ouistreham battery during the Normandy landing
At the moment of the Normandy landing, only two H669 casemates are operational, the construction of the other two having not yet begun.
The battery is operated by the 4th Battalion of the 1716th Artillery Regiment of the 716th Infantry Division.