MOUNT CROCE CARNICO
Historical background and composition
The Mount Croce Carnico barrier, located on the Alpine pass by the same name, was built between 1935 and 1940 and was part of the Alpine Wall. All three of the fortified works it was made up of were reactivated in the early 1950s owing to the new defence requirements against the forces of the Warsaw Pact. However, structural modifications were made to increase the capacity of the anti-tank artillery; moreover, its by then ineffective weaponry was replaced. At the end of the reactivation works, this is what they included:
- work 1 (structure that can be visited): it featured one P position (for an anti-tank gun) and two M positions (for machine guns);
- work 2: it featured one P position and one M position;
- work 3: this work featured the command post of the barrier and comprised two P positions and one M position.
In addition to the works, the barracks for housing the men assigned to guard the barrier and the mobile obstacles (consisting of two sliding gates to block the road) were also reactivated.
The barrier’s purpose was to block the access to State Road (S.S.) 52bis “Carnica”, which from the pass goes all the way to the town of Tolmezzo.
Controlling this road was supposed to prevent enemy forces coming from the Gail Valley, which branches off westward from the town of Villach, from entering the But Valley and continuing their offensive effort towards the high Friulian plain.
The barrier is located on the mountain pass of Monte Croce Carnico, on the border with Austria, in the municipality of Paluzza (UD). Once at the pass, near the bar and souvenir kiosks, on the opening days there will be reception gazebo of the A.S.S.F.N.E. (Association for the Study and Preservation of Fortifications in the Northeast).
OPENINGS TO THE PUBLIC
The structures that can be visited are open to the public one weekend a month, from June to August. By contacting the association in charge in advance, special openings for organised groups can be planned.