VALLO ALPINO - BLOCKADE
«Vallo Alpino» («Alpine Wall») Eastern Front – XXVI. Sector – Subsector XXVI. A.
Blockade (Sbarramento) "Val Rauno" (Ravno) (Official designation «S. Tenente Guido Salvi» - Lt. G. Salvi)
Situated near Mt. Nero, defending the road that
runs through Rauno valley, opening towards the border from Gomanasca
(Gomance) plain, and the crossroads and forrest roads in its vicinity.
It includes three separate underground forts, a number of field-type
MG and HMG nests, numerous trenches, separate AT positions and passive
AT defences (AT wall, mout and minefields). This blockade is approximately
500 meters S from fort No. 2 of blockade «Ermesburgo».
Armament: 10 HMGs, 7LMGs, one 57/43 AT gun, two47/32
mm AT guns, one 45 mm mortar.
Fort No. 1: N side of the road that goes towards the border, SW slope of Mt. Nero, consisting of four combat blocks, one armed with 57/43 mm Nordenfelt ex-Navy AT gun, two HMGs in steel casemates flush with hill slope (grouped together as one concrete structure), and two HMGs in steel turret. One separate safety exit, with observatory with photophone 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. HMGs from the turret could also defend the passive AT defences of blockade «Ermesburgo».
Fort No. 2: S side of the road, some 150 meters SE from fort No. 1, N slope of height 1031. Two combat blocks with HMGs in steel casemates flush with hill slope (grouped together as one concrete structure). 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.
Fort No. 3: S from previous two forts, positioned
to defend forrest roads between heights 1031 and 1026. Two combat blocks:
one with two HMGs behind steel shields in one concrete structure, and
one steel turret for two HMGs. 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, as the roads leading towards Gomance and Rauno plains become intransitable for any vehicle). Fort No. 1 has all its casemates blown up, steel turret removed, and even the AT block destroyed. Entrance block (situated under the road) is damaged, as well as the safety exit. Combat blocks of fort No. 2 are blown up, but the observatory is intact, so it is possible to use the vertical safety exit duct. Main access stairway of fort No. 2, as well as that of No. 3 is full of stone debris, not easily negotiable. Concrete combat block of fort No. 3 is damaged because of the extraction of steel armour elements, but has retained its shape. The roof of the observatory/safety exit block is blown up, and the steel turret is removed. Logistical parts of all forts in reasonably good shape, not too unsafe. Naturally, vertical safety exit duct of fort No. 2 is to be negotiated carefully, as is the case with the access duct of the combat block of fort No. 3.
APPROXIMATE PLANS & PICTURE GALLERY