E320 W/S switch

I have had my 2000 E320 for a while and still cannot understand the use of the W/S switch on the console. Can anyone tell me really what this does and if it's useful?
I can't really make sense of the Owners Manual explanation.
B
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

easily on a slippery surface with less torque. The change points of the other gears are supposedly changed too. It does actually work but these cars are dreadful in the snow/ice, in my experience.
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