Kriegsmarine batterie with unique rotating bunker
Batterie Waldam site overview
What to see
The massive Kriegsmarine batterie at Waldam to the east of Calais was created to defend the vital Channel port and features a series of gun casemates including a unique 360 degree rotating bunker.
This remarkable construction was an experimental build which was never rolled out to any other site on the Atlantikwall making it a must-see for all bunker hunters.
Weighing over 700 tons, this hooded style of bunker offered ultimate protection for the 7.5cm gun inside. Rotating the bunker protected it from incoming fire from the sea while the hood prevented damage from above too. The crew also added a brick wall to the front to increase protection.
Built over two storeys, the whole of the top section or cupola of the bunker was able to rotate thanks to a wheeled mechanism in the lower level, allowing the crew to pinpoint targets both out to sea and inland.
The gun itself was removed following the site’s capture by Canadian forces in late 1944, and the subsequent removal of the mechanical works which enabled the bunker to turn has left the building in a dangerous state so please be careful if you’re planning a visit here.
Batterie Waldam also features two large M270 gun bunkers for 15cm canons, a R612 casemate for site defence, anti-aircraft positions, MG posts, a searchlight stand, and unique observation bunker. Two guard houses and sentry positions protect the rear entrance while you can also find the overgrown remains of personnel shelters, a hospital building, a signal bunker, kitchen, and several ammunition stores.
The Waldam area is regularly used for bird shoots so utmost care must be taken when visiting and the site must be avoided during the hunting season.