VALLO ALPINO - BLOCKADE

"SUONECCHIA"

Blockade "Suonecchia"

XXVI. Sector (Villa del Nevoso), Subsector XXVI. B.(Clana)

Situated around the village of Suonecchia, between the village Gaspari, slopes of Mt. Criva and NE slope of height 700, defending the road Mattuglie – Mune, as well as the forrest roads in its vicinity. It includes four separate underground forts, a number of field-type MG and HMG nests, and an open AT position. Of passive defences, only lines upon lines of barbed wire are mentioned.

Armament: 13 HMGs, 5 LMGs, one 47/32 mm AT gun.

 

Fort No. 1: W side of the road, N of the village of Gaspari, consisting of two combat blocks, one HMG in concrete block behind armoured steel shield, and two HMGs in steel turret. The concrete HMG block also has a photophonic device for communication with fort No. 2. Underground (logistical part) including caserne with ammo, food and drinking water storage. Generator room situated on the main gallery level, close to the kitchen and latrines. Air filters and gas-proof doors for anti-gas defence. The level of long access galery towards the turret is connected to the main caserne level by a stairway of 101 steps. Separate safety exit close to the turret.

Fort No. 2: SE of the village of Suonecchia, close to (wooden) GaF barracks. Three combat blocks: two with HMGs in concrete blocks behind armoured steel shields, and one steel observatory cloche. No separate safety exit. Underground (logistical part) including caserne with ammo, food and drinking water storage. Entrance coridor protected by LMG embrasure. Generator room situated near the entrance, air filters and gas-proof doors for anti-gas defence. HMG blocks equipped with photophones for communication with nearby forts.

Fort No. 3: W of the fort No. 2, on a forrest road between villages of Susni and Gaspari. Two well camouflaged concrete combat blocks with HMGs behind armoured steel shields. 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. No separate safety exit. HMG blocks equipped with photophones for communication with nearby forts.

Fort No. 4: higher uphill from the fort No. 3, immediately on the road between the villages of Susni and Criva. Two concrete combat blocks with HMGs behind armoured steel shields, no separate 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. The combat block oriented towards the fort No. 3 has a photophonic device for communication


Present state of the forts:

fully accessible, and probably the best preserved forts of all Eastern Vallo Alpino. They were definitely under Yugoslav Army care after the WW2, their already superb camouflage being even more enhanced! All combat blocks in their original shape, with painted signs and even painted steel parts holding against the age of almost 70 years quite nicely. Of former GaF barracks, only foundations can be seen. The forts survived the bunker destruction campaign in the early fifties, being preserved for army training purposes. Logistical parts in very good shape, and not even too dirty! Naturally, all outfitting elements (steel doors, generators, wiring etc.) have been removed. However, the shape of the concrete block of the fort No. 1 can be hardly distinguished, since the locals use the area as a garbage dump. The entrance of the fort No. 1 lies almost on privately owned land, so it would be nice to let the proprietor (a widow of an old partisan, the man (passed away in 2002.) responsible for most of the information about these forts) know about the visit. Fort No. 4 has the entrance below the road level, but the «main attraction» are the dogs from one house in the neighbourhood, wandering loose in the vicinity of the fort, making the attempts of taking outside pictures of combat blocks quite an exciting task!

 

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