Gros ouvrage du Monte Grosso - 7 blocs -Located 4 km North of Sospel. Access from Sospel. At the tourist board take the road North of the river Bevera and go westwards. After the second bridge take the road on the right. At the end go left. Attention the last part of the road is in a terrible condition. Currently abandoned and securely locked.
Commandant: Cne Cucchietti Regiments: 40th DBAF & 158th RAP Generators: 4 SMIM 160 cv Troops: 10 Officers & 363 Men.
Gros ouvrage of MONTE GROSSO, an unusually large fort for the Alpine sector more reminiscent of those we were used to at Thionville. The fort which had 7 blocks and 363 men is located at the end of a long dead end road 4 km north of Sospel.
was quickly apparent that this wasn't a clean and undamaged fort like all those
visited earlier in the week. The walls were covered with soot and everywhere we
went there was evidence of wiring being stripped out. There appeared to be no
actual fire damage anywhere so it can only be assumed that the insulation was
burnt off the wiring underground which must have been very unpleasant for those
doing it. This is one of the few forts in the region with raising and rotating
turrets so as time was pressing the photographic party made first for Block 6
which contained twin 135mm guns within its turret. To our surprise the scrap men
hadn't reached that far and the turret and it's guns were intact and in
The block is on two levels with the counter balance weight and winding gear on the lower level and the turret itself on the upper level. Although the electric motors and control equipment have been removed were still able to raise and rotate the turret by hand after 50 years of disuse. Block 5 also retains its 75mm turret and guns.
Although the lower levels have been badly vandalised and stripped of any wiring the caserne was in surprisingly good conditions. Most of the dormitories retain their bed frames and printed names on many of the doors stating which ranks were in which rooms. There were several other original wall signs at the entrance to the caserne and infermarie and one door off the main corridor was labelled 'Chambre des adjudants de Genie'. The generator room is a disappointment. It is the biggest we had seen with four large diesel generators but they have all been partially stripped with parts lying all over the floor.