VALLO ALPINO - BLOCKADE
«Vallo Alpino» («Alpine Wall») Eastern Front – XXVI. Sector – Subsector XXVI. B.
Blockade (Sbarramento) "Val Malacca" (Mlake)
Situated in Mlake valley, between 7th and 8th kilometer of the road leading from Clana towards Gomanasca plain, controlling the road and the plain that opens towards the border. It includes three separate underground forts, a number of field-type MG and HMG nests, separate AT positions and passive AT defences (AT wall, mout and minefields).
Fort No. 1: N side of the main road close to GaF barracks, consisting of three combat blocks, two armed with 57/43 mm Nordenfelt ex-Navy AT guns and one steel turret with two HMGs. Also, one observatory concrete block with safety exit, for communication with nearby forts No. 2 and No. 3. Underground (logistical part) including caserne with ammo, food and drinking water storage. This fort had all its weapons designated with specific names: AT pieces were given names of "Danero" and "Xidias" and HMGs were named "Isonzo" and "Vittorio Veneto". Generator room situated near the entrance block, air filters and gas-proof doors for anti-gas defence.
Fort No. 2: situated in a small hill overlooking the turn on the road, E from fort No. 1, with three combat blocks with HMGs in steel casemates flush with hill slopes. One observatory concrete block for communication with forts No. 1 and No. 3. Like the fort No. 1, this one also has all its machine guns "named" after famous battles of Isonzo front in WW1. Underground (logistical part) including casernes with ammo, food and drinking water storages, peculiarly placed on different levels connected by flights of stairs. Two (!) generator rooms situated close to two entrances, three sets of kitchens and toilets. Air filters and gas-proof doors for anti-gas defence.
Fort No. 3: S side of the main road, two combat
blocks with HMGs in steel casemates flush with hill slopes. Here also
the weapons had their own "names", long since obliterated
from heavily damaged caserne walls.One observatory concrete block for
communication with forts No. 1 and No. 2, with safety exit. Underground
(logistical part) including caserne with ammo, food and drinking water
storage. Generator room situated near the entrance, air filters and
gas-proof doors for anti-gas defence. Entrance stairway protected by
a LMG embrasure.
Present state of the forts:
fully accessible, but heavily damaged. Fort No. 1 has all its combat positions fully destroyed, even the armour plates of AT pieces removed, but it is still possible to distinguish the AT blocks. Steel turret is removed, but the air duct block, as well as observatory block are preserved, together with plenty of original inscriptions on the walls. Pretty much the same goes for the other two forts, not one combat position surviving the steel hunger of the 50s. All access stairways leading towards the combat positions of forts No.s 2 and 3 are blocked with debris, and even the observatory of the fort No. 3 is destroyed. Logistical parts in reasonably good shape, not too unsafe. Naturally, vertical access ducts of fort No. 1 are to be negotiated carefully.
APPROXIMATE PLANS & PICTURE GALLERY