Batterie Todt – turm 1 & museum

The mighty Todt Batterie turm 1 and museum at dusk.

Before we launch into the history of Batterie Todt and the museum that now stands there it's important to mention the entire complex of which each Casemate or Turm has it's own section. I took some extended video and photographs of this site in the summer of 2016 and I will update the pages as time allows with additional material.
There were four massive gun casemates or turms as they are called on this iconic and historic site. Of all my visits to the many museums and bunkers in France this one and the surrounding area is my favourite.

Turm 1 holds the museum and has a rich and detailed history of the Todt batterie. (pictured above)

Route du Musée,
62179 Hameau de Haringzelle
Audinghen, France

Latitude: 50.84432
Longitude: 1.60006

When driving into the Audinghen area from any direction the D 940 road will lead you to the Batterie Todt museum and associated turms. There is a beatiful hotel and restaurant called the Samoria as well as a campground, both located next to the museum.

Click to enlarge map

Turm 2

Turm two is nestled in the woods to the west of Turm 1 and the museum.

Turm 3

Turm 3 was completely destroyed accidentally when munitions were being removed from the bunker in the early 1950's, it's ghostly remains still stand.

Turm 4

And then there is the queen herself, Turm four which is past the woods facing the north westerly area. This particular bunker is iconic and is one of the most fantastic sites in the entire Atlantik Wall, she is simply beautiful.
The history of the Todt Batterie.

THE BRITISH ARMY IN NORTH-WEST EUROPE 1944-45 (B 10467) A soldier poses next to one of the German coastal guns captured by the Canadians at Cap Gris Nez, 1 October 1944. Copyright: © IWM. Original Source:

The Battle of France in May and June 1940 placed Calais and vicinity under the control of an enemy of Britain for the first time since the end of the Napoleonic Wars, 125 years earlier.

On 21 May 1940, Hitler discussed the possibility of invasion with Großadmiral (Grand Admiral) Erich Raeder, the Commander-in-Chief of the Kriegsmarine (German Navy) and on 25 June surprised Oberkommando der Wehrmacht (OKW, supreme command of the armed forces), by ordering the preparation studies and appreciations for an invasion of Britain, which were ready on 2 July.

In an OKW directive by Wilhelm Keitel on 10 July, 1940 it states:

All preparations are to be made to provide strong frontal and flank artillery protection for the transportation and landing of troops in case of a possible crossing from the coastal strip Calais–Cape Gris Nez–Boulogne under the control of the Kriegsmarine.

Hitler issued Fuhrer Directive 16 on 16 July for an invasion as Unternehmen Seelöwe (Operation Sea Lion), in which, Strong forces of coastal artillery must command and protect the forward coastal area.

Organisation Todt began work on positions capable of withstanding the heaviest bombing for every heavy artillery piece available, primarily at Pas-de-Calais, commenced on 22 July 1940.

The Kriegsmarine or German Navy had cancelled the construction of additional warships in 1941 leaving several 380mm guns available for coastal defence. One of the first coastal batteries with these weapons was Batterie Siegfried later renamed Batterie Todt and was located in the Cap-Gris-Nez area and outside the town of Audinghen in northern France.

The Todt Batterie was named after Fritz Todt who died accidentally in a plane crash in 1942. Todt was the Reich Minister of Munitions and head of the Organization Todt, the civil and military engineering group.

After death of Fritz Todt, Adolf Hitler had appointed Albert Speer in charge of all civil and military construction operations including that of coastal defences for the Atlantik Wall.

The Todt Batterie fired it's first shell on January 20th, 1942 but was officially inaugurated on February 10th, 1942 and formed part of the 242nd Coastal Artillery Battalion and was commanded by Lieutenant Commander Kurt Schilling who was also responsible for Batterie Lindemann and Batterie Grosser Kurfurst.

The Todt batterie consisted of four 380mm (15 inch) calibre guns made by Krupp with a range up to 55.7 kilometres (34.6 mi), capable of reaching the British coast, and each protected by a bunker of reinforced concrete.

The batterie was taken by Anglo-Canadian troops in September 1944, after an intense aerial bombardment, as part of Operation Undergo.

For more details refer to the history of the batterie at the museum web site and historical section located here:

References and historical narrative on this section include:

The Atlantic Wall History and Guide
Hitlers Atlantic Wall
Imperial War Museum

Turm 1 - Museum photographs

All photographs on this visit were taken on July 12th, 2016 and are subject to copyright. Please be respectful and do not copy them for your own personal or professional use. If you would like to contact the photographer and admin of this web site please e-mail

I used two different cameras on the 2016 visit. The Nikon Coolpix 35mm and the Apple iPhone Six S Plus.

THE BRITISH ARMY IN NORTH-WEST EUROPE 1944-45 (B 10465) Troops investigate one of the German cross-Channel gun emplacements at Cap Gris Nez, 1 October 1944. Copyright: © IWM. Original Source:

The front side of Turm 1 - The nose still stands high above the now glass window that once housed the gun placement.

The nose of Turm 1 - still in place 70 plus years after she fell to Canadian forces in 1944.

Looking out of Turm 1 towards the glass enclosure.

The mighty Leopold K5 Railway Gun on display at the museum

A profile shot of Leopold

Facing the other side - Visitors are welcome to climb aboard!

The front end of an SDKFZ 251 type half track

What a beauty! a lovely side glance of the SDKFZ 251

Achtung Minen! - Mind where you step when walking around the grounds of this exquisite museum

The 75mm anti-tank gun PAK 40! - facing towards the English channel

A look at one the personnel areas of the Todt museum.

And as she stands now - Batterie Todt

"We fly to England!" The firing chart for the Lindeman Batterie which was located in Sangatte not far from batterie Todt. Click here for the tragic story behind this iconic part of the Atlantikwall.

One the steel entrance doors to the batterie

"Fast as greyhounds, tough as leather, as tough as Krupp steel"

One of the 380mm shells which were loaded into the batterie using a winch system

The shells would be hoisted through the batterie and slid through a rail system attached to the ceiling. The original rail still in place today.

And this door is where the shells would load through via the winched rail system.

K5 Leopold Railwaygun 28 cm / 280 mm

Weight: 240 tons
Overall length:
98 feet (travel)
105 feet (combat)
Barrel length: 70 feet 8 inches
Bore: 283 mm
Elevation: 50 degrees
Traverse: 2 degrees
Muzzle velocity: 3,675 feet per second
Maximum firing range: 40 miles
Rate of fire: 15 rounds per hour

The K5 Railway Gun at the Batterie Todt Museum in Audinghen, France.

The shell and breach before loading.

The loading crane and shell cart.

Looking down the barrel from the left of the K5 Leopold.

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