Gros ouvrage du Cap-Martin - 3 blocs - Located in Cap-Martin. Access from the boulevard of Menton. Go westwards, following the main road. The work is 250 m. after the tunnel.
CAP MARTIN a Gros Ouvrage (344 men) on the western outskirts of Menton and in fact the southernmost fort on the Maginot Line overlooking the Mediterranean. Cap Martin was one of the few Alpine forts to be attacked, Italian forces failed to make much of a dent anywhere on the line, but they did make one notable assault. Showing great determination, they advanced right up to Cap Martin (Block 3, a casemate for two 75 mm canons and two 81 mm mortars) The block suffered some direct hits including some on its embrasure, but it remained effectively in action, having sustained only minor damage. The Italians reached the surface of the fort, and all attempts to dislodge them failed until, late in the day, the other forts in the vicinity were called to direct their fire on to the fort. This finally forced the Italians to withdraw. The ouvrage incurred some minor damage from the supporting French 155 mm guns. This was as close as the Italians came to ever capturing a Gros ouvrage, which was better than their German comrades ever achieved.
The fort consists of three blocks with the main road west from Menton passing between Blocks 1 and 2. We parked in a lay-by overlooking the city and looked down on Block 2 with its observation cupola looking over the city and its marinas. We climbed down in front of the block but there was no access into the fort so we climbed back to look at Block 1 on the north side of the road. This was the main entrance to the fort with it's drawbridge over the 12' deep 'fosse' well and truly closed. We made no attempt to climb down the steep cliff to Block 3 which was blown up by retreating German troops in 1944. Although described in books as derelict, the main entrance block to Cap Martin had been fully restored and is in excellent condition.