VALLO ALPINO - BLOCKADE
«Vallo Alpino» («Alpine Wall») Eastern Front – XXVI. Sector – Subsector XXVI. A.
Blockade (Sbarramento) "Ermesburgo" (Gomance)
Situated near height 934, on the road that runs
parallel with the border, defending the crossroads in its vicinity.
It includes two separate (several hundred meters apart) underground
forts, a number of field-type MG and HMG nests, separate AT positions
and passive AT defences (AT walls, mouts, steel wire block, concrete
cylinders and minefields). The Gomanasca (Gomance) plain represents
fairly big tank danger, hence the extensive passive AT defences.
Fort No. 1: W/SW side of the main road, with entrance block close to GaF barracks, consisting of six combat blocks, two armed with 57/43 mm Nordenfelt ex-Navy AT guns, three HMGs in steel casemates flush with hill slopes (grouped together as one massive concrete structure), and two HMGs in steel turret. One separate safety exit, but no separate observatory block. Underground (logistical part) including caserne with ammo, food and drinking water storage. Generator room situated in the entrance block, air filters and gas-proof doors for anti-gas defence. Gallery connecting main underground part and the three casemates approximately 80 meters long.
Fort No. 2: some 400 meters E from the fort No.
1, two combat blocks with HMGs in steel casemates flush with hill slopes.
One observatory concrete block with safety exit. Underground (logistical
part) including caserne with ammo, food and drinking water storage.
Generator room situated near the entrance block, air filters and gas-proof
doors for anti-gas defence.
Present state of the forts:
fully accessible (snow being a problem during
wintertime). Fort No. 1 has all its casemates blown up, and steel turret
removed. However, AT blocks are preserved and accessible. Entrance block
is damaged , and the access gallery completely blocked, but it is possible
to use the safety exit. Combat blocks of fort No. 2 are blown up, and
observatory damaged, with the vertical safety exit duct inaccessible.
Main access stairway of fort No. 2 full of stone debris, not easily
negotiable. Logistical parts of both forts in reasonably good shape,
not too unsafe. Naturally, vertical access duct of fort No. 1 is to
be negotiated carefully. AT blocks of fort No. 1 are quite visible,
but it is not easy to find the remains of fort No. 2 in summer.
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