VALLO ALPINO - BLOCKADE

"PASSO DEL MONTENERO"

Blockade "Passo del Montenero"

«Vallo Alpino» («Alpine Wall») Eastern Front – XXII. Sector (Idria), Subsector XXII. C. (Montenero)

Blockade (Sbarramento) "Passo del Montenero" («Crni Vrh») - Official designation «Trombi»

Situated on the mountain pass above Montenero (Crni Vrh), defending the Montenero - Zolla (Col) road. Also, situated high above Montenero valley offers excellent position for observation of Godovici - Montenero road. Belongs to the second defence system, situated farther away from the border. Consists of two separate forts on both sides of the road, constructed above the ground as massive concrete structures, as well as underground HMG positions. There is a possibility of the third underground fort. Also, a number of field HMG and LMG positions, as well as passive AT defences including AT mout, wall and concrete cylinders, as well as minefields.

Official complement: 119 enlisted men, 2 officers.

Armament: 16 HMGs, 6 LMGs, two 81 mm mortars.

Presence of elaborate passive AT defences without any AT weapons is somewhat of a mistery, but slovenian sources do not mention any AT artillery pieces of this blockade.

 

Fort No. 1: W side of the road, overlooking the chappel on the mountain pass. Built into a ridge, partially underground, a and well camouflaged to resemble a part of the hill. Armed with two HMGs behind armours in three parts, its role was not only to control the both directions of Montenero - Zolla road, but also to act like an observatory, having exceptionally good view over Eastern part of Montenero valley, in the direction of the border. Therefore, it is one of the few forts of Eastern Vallo equipped with "armoured observatory" - steel plate with special embrasure for optical instrument - rather than steel observatory cloche. One caserne with ammo, food and water storages. Photophone for communication with fort No. 2. Gas-proof doors and air regenerator for anti-gas defence. Power generator situated close to combat positions.

Fort No. 2: on the opposite side of the road from the fort No. 1, built on the hill top as a large concrete structure armed with two HMGs behind armours in three parts. One caserne with ammo, food and water storages. Photophones for communication with fort No. 1, as well as one photophone looking Eastwards - where the third fort is still to be found. Gas-proof doors and air regenerator for anti-gas defence, but no power generator.

Underground MG position: an excavation E from the fort No. 2, with two underground MG emplacements. Its galleries are not covered with concrete, and the layout does not suggest that it was to be a "proper" underground fort, therefore suggesting that somewhere in the vicinity there should be another "opera", still to be located.



Present state of the forts:

situated near the main road, they are reasonably easy accessible. Fort No. 1 has all its steel parts in place, although the embrasures have been closed. The caserne of the fort No. 2 is damaged, since the majority of the steel supporting beams has been taken away. Ex GaF camouflaged barracks in the vicinity are well preserved.

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