A single-bay twin-float two-seat fighter biplane, the W.12 was flown for the first time in January 1917 with a
160hp Mercedes D III six-cylinder water-cooled engine.
Of wooden construction with plywood fuselage skinning,
the W12 was produced for the German Navy with
both the 160hp Mercedes D Ilia engine and the 150hp
Benz Bz III, and proved outstandingly manoeuvrable.
Its first operations were conducted from the seaplane
station at Zeebrugge, from where it quickly distinguished
itself in service. Standard armament comprised
one forward-firing synchronised 7.92mm LMG
08/15 machine gun and a Parabellum of similar calibre on a flexible mount in the rear cockpit, but of the 146 W.12s that had been built when production terminated in
June 1918, one batch of 30 Benz-engined fighters had
been delivered with a forward-firing armament of two
W.Green, D.Swanborough "The Complete Book of Fighters", 2000