ANNA MARIA PRIORA

Via Tommaso Campanella 26 CASSINO (FR)
annamaria.priora@gmail.com

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Fred Majdalang described in his book the Hitler Line very well, and his description is exactly what we can see now in the countryside of Aquino e Pontecorvo.

The line was built about 10km norther than the Gustav Line, and it was composed by minefields, anti-tank pits, grids and bunkers. Some of these bunkers were buildt in a very original way, because on the top there was a tank-turret with a 88mm gun. They were made by steel and weighed about 400 quintals, wall thickness was about 3mm and they were 3mt high and 5 mt breit. They had a strong iron door and inside they could contained up to 6 people. On the Hitler line there are bunkers for 1 soldier up to 6, and the space is enough for 6 camp beds, organised as bunk beds, a little kitchen and a toilette. First of all the Germans dug the hole, then they put inside the steel bunker and at the end they covered everything with reinforced concrete and grass. 

Pantherturm on the Hitler Line

Germans used them to store their ammunitions and took shelter from the Allied troops. The distance between the bunkers was short, so that they could support each others in case of attack and their number was very high, about 200. The name of these special bunkers was Tobrucks and it comes from the Libyan city of the same name, famouse for having been besieged by the Afrika Corps under General Rommel. During the siege, soldiers from both sides were entrenched in foxholes to protect their position. This defencive line was running from Piedimonte San Germano to the south of Pontecorvo. Its name derived from its original German designation "Fuehrerline" then this been changed to "Senger Line" on 24 Febbuary 1944. The line had been buildt this the help of foreigner workers, between them a lot of Italians, and the Todt Organization. It was planned in November and buildt in December 1943.

 

Tobruck old plan Tobruck ald photo Tobruck old photo

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