VALLO ALPINO - BLOCKADE

"OTOSCA DOLINA"

Blockade "Otosca Dolina"

«Vallo Alpino» («Alpine Wall») Eastern Front – XXV. Sector – Subsector XXV. A.

Blockade (Sbarramento) "Otosca Dolina" - Official designation unknown

Situated on Palcie - Laze road, near height 791, includes two separate underground forts, a number of field-type MG and HMG nests, separate AT positions and elaborate passive AT defences (AT walls, concrete cylinders, AT mout and minefields).

 

Fort No. 1: N side of the road, consisting of two combat blocks, each armed with one HMG placed in armored steel casemate, embrasures being almost flush with adjacent carst ground and well camouflaged. Also, one observatory concrete block for communication with nearby fort No. 2. 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. "Special feature" of both forts of this blockade is that their casernes, rather than to be simple rooms with enough space to fit iron bunks/beds and tables for the troops, had concrete bunks that resembled sarcophagi, with some sort of piping over them (possibly for attaching of soldiers` gas masks).

Fort No. 2: S side of the road, three combat blocks: two HMGs in separate armored casemates, two HMGs in steel turret. One observatory concrete block for communication with fort No. 1. 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. Same "sarcophagi" layout of the caserne, and the only fort (that I know of, anyway) to have separate "Infirmary" space.


Present state of the forts:

fully accessible (however, not in winter time, when the road leading towards them becomes intransitable due to the huge amount of snow). All combat positions with casemates blown up, steel turret removed, observatory blocks damaged. Logistical parts in reasonably good shape, not too unsafe. However, access stairways leading to what once were combat positions are blocked by concrete and stone debris, and the dirt and debris on other stairways makes them very slippery. Protective steel handrails have been long since removed, so caution is to be exercised when attempting to negotiate them. Naturally, vertical access ducts with rusty steel ladders are without any means of cover, so one must be careful when approaching them. Nature has reclaimed the area that must have been rather deforested back in 1940s, so now it is not so easy to notice the AT defences that even now remain effective (only there are no more enemies...).


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