Batterie Friedrich August
Kriegsmarine batterie with massive WW1 naval guns
Batterie Friedrich August site overview
What to see
Batterie Friedrich August, or Stp212 Kornweihe as it was also known, was a large Kriegsmarine batterie near the small town of Wimile near Boulogne-sur-Mer. It was one of the largest Atlantikwall gun locations built as German forces swept across France in early 1940.
Each of the three special construction casemates housed a 30.5cm Skoda built gun boasting a 14.4m long barrel which could fire a shell over 30 miles, and the site formed part of the network of batteries which fired over the English Channel to bombard Dover and the south coast of England.
Prior to their installation here, the guns had been located in a batterie which went by the same name overlooking the North Sea at Wangerooge in northern Germany at the end of the first World War. They were removed and set up in a naval batterie at Helgoland in 1935 and then moved to this site near Boulogne after the fall of France. They were initially set up in open emplacements but were covered with the concrete casemates as the occupying forces looked to solidify their position.
These three casemates built for the turret guns were self-contained units with two floors for personnel, communications, and ammunition stores. Within the protection of the concrete, they were still able to command a 220-degree range of fire.
Today only one of the casemates survives and it can be found on private land at the edge of an industrial park near to the A16 motorway. Near to the gun bunker is a small personnel shelter, and several large pieces of reinforced concrete lie alongside a concrete road which runs to the rear of the bunker. Access is by permission only and entering the usually flooded, muddy casemate isn’t advised.