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The Old Forts of the Archipelago

1. The tower fort on Santo Stefano Built in June of 1771, in response to the French expedition that Bombarded La Maddalena with a small cannon. That expedition was repulsed by Domenico Millelire and about a dozen others. The fort was too isolated to be of much use and was abandoned as the fort S. Giorgio was built higher up on the ridge above the quarry of Villamarina. Photo Album\Santo Stefano, Tower fort.JPG

2. Forte S. Vittoria (On la Maddalena at the highest point) Soon nicknamed named the "Guardia Vecchia", It was erected at 146 meters above sea level around 1770 and allowed visual control of all the archipelago’s batteries. An octagonal building, containing two rooms Three small magazines for the storage of tools food and powder was built also. Used in the 18th century as a prison as well as the base of operations for the revolt against the house of Savoy in 1794 by the Cagliarese Vincenzo Sulis. In 1887, there was a profound transformation into what is now the Tele communication center for the Italian Navy and Coast Guard. Photo Album\La Madd, Guardia Vecchia.jpg  1  2  3  4 

3. Battery of Balbiano, Named after the Viceroy of Sardinia from 1790-94, and built a scant 100 yards from the port at Cala Gavetta, this fort is incorporated into the old town area now. This battery played an important role on the 22-23 February 1793 action against the French, Commanded by an official named Rossetti. In the area the battery is known as Il Fortino, ask for it by name. Parts of it are still visible form the waterfront below the south side.  Photo Album\La Madd, Battery Balbiano, Il Fortino.JPG Photo Album\La Madd, Battery Balbiano.JPG

3. Battery of S. Agostino like the Balbiano Battery, it was situated near the sea to control the entry to Cala Mangiavolpe, where the Ferries land, in front of Bar Fabbris. It is located in town and not easy to recognize. As the town grew towards the Admiralty buildings, it was disused. It is incorporated into dwellings now, and is bounded by the streets via Amendola, Via G. Bruno, and via Nizza. It was a small Two cannon battery. Photo Album\La Madd, Battery San Agostino.JPG

4. Forte S. Andrea was built in the early 1790's, on a rock crag sticking about ten meters up above everything else in town at that point. This battery was designed to protect the channel between Santo Stefano and La Maddalena. A wall and several gates protected the entry. There is inside, a courtyard and a small barracks as well as the commanders lodging. A city employee as a trustee currently occupies it and he will show you around, for a small fee. This battery took part in the 22-23 February 1793 repulsing of the French under an officer named Ricco. The flag that flew over this fort during that action is now preserved in the Sala Communale at the town hall in La Madd.Photo Album\La Maddalena, Fort San Andrea1.JPG   Photo AlbumPhoto Album\La Maddalena, Fort San Andrea.JPG


5. Santa Teresa battery (Also called Sant’Elmo) Constructed shortly after the 1793 action with the French, it's need was demonstrated by the fact that the French fleet sailed unopposed past Punta Tegge and anchored at Mezzo Schifo by Palau, to casually go about their invasion. It is now private property and in ruins. It is the one we see across the road, looking towards La Madd when we are at Flat Rock. Photo Album\La Madd,Battery Santa Teresa.JPG

6. Fort Carlo Felice Named after the duke of Genoa at the time, built at the request of either Emmanuelle IV or Vittorio Emmanuelle I, in the time from 1806-1807. Designed to defend the moorage in front of the Italian Hospital and the pass between Moneta and Caprera, which did not yet have the causeway linking the two Islands. With High walls that were decorated in relief around the entrance and a classic square plan with towers at each corner. There were mounted three 24 pounder cannons and two 12 pounders on mobile platforms. 8 cannons protected the approach from the north the water source was a rain gathering system that went to a central well in the middle of the fort. The fort is inside the Italian Navy School zone and is in use by the ministry of defense. Photo Album\Fort Carlo Felice.JPG

7. Fort S. Giorgio Santo Stefano This fort was constructed shortly after Fort Carlo Felice and at the same time as S.Teresa .It was built because the tower fort was not visible from the Guardia Vecchia and also to ease resupply. There is, outside the entrance, a small guard barracks. Near the small ramp /stairway inside, there is a small powder room. The stone pier at the Club Valtur was originally built for the use of this fort, because they wanted a shorter and more visible route for supplies and reinforcements. No cost or manning data is currently available.Photo Album\Fort San Giorgio,Santo Stefano.JPG

8. Battery of Sant Agostino like the Balbiano Battery, it was situated near the sea to control the entry to Cala Mangiavolpe, where the ferries land, near the city hall. It is located in town ands not easy to recognize. As the town grew towards the Admiralty Buildings, it was disused. It is incorporated into Dwellings behind the Dogana now, and it is bounded by the streets via Amendola, Via G. Bruno, and Via Nizza. It was a small two cannon battery. Photo Album\La Madd, Battery San Agostino.JPG




The Great Fortifications of the Archipelago


1. PUNTA TEGGE, Also known as Flat Rock. Built in 1890. Once had six 57mm cannons. Had ammunition storage for 924 rounds. 26 men and NCO's manned it. There were construction efforts begun near the end of their use to mount two 149mm cannons but they were abandoned before completion. In the 18 months of construction, 41,250 Lire were spent building toe battery, retaining walls and structures with water cisterns, also built was the small quay wall for boats.              Photo Album\La Madd, Battery Punta Tegge.JPG

2. NIDO D’AQUILA (The Eagles nest, in Italian) Built between Nov 1886 and Jun 1888 At forty one meters above sea level, the four model 15 GRC recoilless rifles mounted here were well placed to control the sea from Punta Sardegna on the right. to Scoglio Bianco on the left. There was storage for 72 rounds per cannon. Manning was for 46 men with 2 Officers in charge of a photoelectric signal station. Efforts to place two 149mm cannons here as well were abandoned while work was underway The entire fort inclusive of armament was built at a cost of 124,360 Lire. Photo Album\La Madd,Battery Nido D'Aquila.JPG

3. Punta Nera Photoelectric signals station. A small but modern facility of about 150 square meters in size, it had a rain collection cistern of 150,000-liter capacity. There were two observation platforms built, one at Punto Tegge and the other at Scoglio Bianco. A Company from La Spezia manufactured the signaling platforms.

4. Padula torpedo/ supply station the small quay wall and boat dock near the entrance to the causeway over to Caprera is the station. It had a magazine with a capacity of ten thousand kilograms of powder. When constructed, it had a 10-foot high perimeter wall 330 meters in length. The house up on top of the rock above was the commander's lodging. It was built in 18 months at a cost of 57,000 Lire.  Picture 1 Commanders Lodging

5. Battery of Pettecchia Built next to what is now the Faravelli Sports complex by the AGIP station; it was designed to protect the Cala Camiciotto and the approach to the channel at Moneta. This battery consisted of a large parapet area with 4, GRC Recoilless guns with a 120-degree field of movement and four smaller guns overlooking the entrance to the arsenal's port area. Walls to isolate the military port enclosed this. It had a powder magazine with a capacity of ten thousand kilograms of powder, 2 positions dedicated to making explosive projectiles. Approximately 40 men manned it. Photo Album\La Madd,Battery Petticchia at the arsenale.JPG

6. Opera Guardia Vecchia In the area North of the old fort there was built a group of six 24-pounder gun emplacements. Facing in opposite directions, each of which had overlapping fields of fire and movement of 120 degree's horizontally each. They were designed to control from the mouth of the Moneta channel to the anchorage at Santo Stefano on the east side, and on the west, from the north entrance of the Spargi channel to the anchorage of Mezzo Schifo there were built also in the area two locations for loading projectile and storage of them. On the south side of the old fort, we find the wall with Eight holes for the emplacement of 8 28 pounders guns covering an area of 260 degrees, these are visible when you drive by the Guardia on the way to Paradiso. The manning was approximately 250 troops and they had a cistern for rain with a capacity of 600,000 liters of water. The entire fort was built in 18 months at a cost of 109,205 Lire. Photo Album\La Madd, Guardia Vecchia.jpg

7. Opera Villa To the East of the Guardia, About a thousand Yards away Behind the cemetery, you find the Battery of Punta Villa. It had small-bore cannon capable of providing support fire to Battery of Pettecchia and crossfire with the batteries around the Moneta Channel of Caprera. There were four emplacements of 28 pounders and 4 smaller caliber rapid-fire weapons as well as heavy rifles.  Photo Album\La Madd,Opera Villa.jpg

8. Battery Trinita North of the Guardia Vecchia about a thousand yards distant, atop a rocky crag that protrudes about 20 yards up out of the plain, you will see Battery Trinita. Important, because as the second highest point on the Island, it overlooked the areas of Cala d'Inferno, Abbotoggia and Stagno Torto, as well as the Channel at Moneta. There was a barracks for 20 men and their NCO's. The armament consisted of 6 57mm cannons. Below the entrance, to preclude surprise attacks, there was built a barracks for a further 20 men and emplaced two 57 mm rapid-fire guns and two heavy machine guns. The fort was built in 18 months at a cost of 36,100 Lire  Photo Album\La Madd,Battery Trinita.jpg

9. The Causeway between Moneta and Caprera was built at this time, originally to restrict the size of the vessels entering it to small corvettes. There was a 60-meter gap, originally, but shortly thereafter it was decided to begin the construction of the road and bridge with in few years. The original bridge was a swing away bridge of 6.4 meters in width. A photo of this bridge can be seen in Bar Lio's, near the Church. Photo Album\La Madd,Caprera Causeway.jpg  Another view showing the extra fill for the Gap

10. Battery of Arbittucci on Caprera. Built at the north high point of Caprera, to keep enemy vessels at bay out side the Moneta Channel, this fort boasted 6 eight-inch (220mm)-gun emplacements. It stands at 132 meters above sea level. It was constructed over 18 months and cost 15000 for just the barracks and the water cisterns. Photo Album\Caprera,Monte Arbittucci Battery.jpg  The Mounts  The Powder Magazines and ammo storage

11. Stagnali on Caprera Nearly centrally located on the Island; there was an emplacement of 280-mm guns here as well as lots of reserve force barracks. Totaling 560 men, the barracks area is the largest on the island. This was large enough to have separate non-rate, petty officer and officer clubs (messes) Also built was a molo (quay) with a small crane for loading and unloading supplies. This area was primarily a staging a supply area. Built in 18 months at a cost of 96,640 Lire.  Overview

12. Monte Rasu Inferiore on Caprera, Built on a plateau 81 meters above sea level, armed with 4 cannons of 16 inch bore, with advanced, tapered barrels. A second battery of four 25 pounders was employed here, below the others. There was barracks for 160 men and storage for 140,000 kilograms of gunpowder. The 16 inchers were later replaced by model 15 GRC cannons like the ones at Nido D'Aquila because they were too labor intensive to keep operating, slow to train on target and difficult to maintain.

13. Monte Rasu Superior (Gallery Of Pictures HERE) Situated on a plateau 100 meters above sea level just above the other battery of the same name, there were 4 250 mm cannon mounted here. It was thought that it would be worth trying to emplace 4 250-mm recoilless guns here but the Idea was shelved for cost and eventually dismissed, as static fortifications became obsolete. The Gun Mounts The Storage areas

14. Torpedo and supply station of Punta Rossa. Far at the back of Caprera, there was a post similar to Padula by the causeway entrance on the La Madd side. This consisted of two covered areas of about 540 square meters for ordnance handling and one powder magazine for 20,000 kilos of powder and three magazines for guncotton with a capacity of 15,00 kilos. There is also a rain cistern of 100,000 liters capacity that gathered rain from all the roofs. They built a 16b meter long pier and install a crane to offload and load supplies. This area was built in 18 months at a cost of 67,000 Lire. The Supply Station

15. Punto Rossa on Caprera. Located on the extreme southern point of Caprera, It was armed with two Model 15 GRC recoilless rifles, similar to those at the Nido D'Aquila and three 57 mm rapid fire guns the ready service magazines there held 112 rounds for the Model 15's and 352 for the 57 mm rapid fire cannons. At the extreme end is the well for the 149mm mount. The gun was removed. The magazine held 336 rounds for this cannon and 84 spare rounds for the Model 15's. About 30 meters north of this is a magazine for powder with a capacity of 10,000 kilos. Further along that same line is a structure holding barracks for 50 men, rooms for officers and NCO's, and also the photoelectric signal station. In the walls there is a cistern for rain runoff that holds 150,000 liters of water. Near the magazines were four machine gun emplacements. The signal towers for the station were placed one on the battery and the other on the Isola Porca, just offshore. This fort cost 100,000 Lire and was also built over 18 months. The Gun Mounts

16. Guardia Del Turco above Spalmatore. The most heavily armed operational battery of all, had four 305 mm, 17 caliber anti-shipping cannons. On 13 Sept 1943, this battery took part in actions against the Germans departing Sardinia.Photo Album\La Madd, Guardia Del Turco over Spalmatore (2).JPG

17. Candeo on Caprera Anti shipping battery manned by navy personnel during the Second World War. At the base of the road up to Battery Arbittucci, you turn right up a road and come soon to a group of anti- air emplacements M701 type guns were mounted here the buildings are made from local granite and are camofluaged using the rock. The road has a parking area at the end and you can proceed down a winding switchback road to Candeo. The anti-shipping gun is still in place, as it was so difficult to get to when the disarmament policy was in effect. There are numerous tunnels and bunkers that are open. Bring a light. Near the sea platform there is an emplacement the once held a heavy machine gun. This spot is an excellent example of using the natural rock as camouflage.Photo Album\Caprera, Candeo, the upper part (1).JPG

18. Punto Dello Zucchero on Santo Stefano it was the last of the world war two era emplacements completed only days before the armistice was signed on 8 Sept. This was an anti-air emplacement and was simply allowed to fall to pieces.Photo Album\SantoStefano,.jpg

19. Colmi Battery  (See Gallery of Pics HERE) Built around 1888, this battery initially had four 280mm guns. After 1890 it was decided to emplace a further battery of 120mm guns and augment the 280mm guns with four more guns. This battery was never used and in the Second World War was used as a storage depot.Photo Album\La Madd, Battery Colmi under reconstruction (6).JPG



 The Coastal Batteries on the Mainland around Palau

These Batteries were built in response to the fact that, Though there were enough guns protecting the entrances to North, south and west, once inside the anchorage areas, there was no way to bombard an enemy ship.

1. Monte Altura Palau In addition to providing fields of fire for the anchorage this fort also covered the road the Tempio and Arzechena, hence, it was heavily armed with six 280 mm guns, two 149 mm guns, four 57 mm guns four 75 mm guns and two Model 25A heavy machine guns. Photo Album\Palau,Monte Altura.JPG Photo Album\Palau, Monte Altura Battery.JPG  Placard

2. Capo d'Orso Palau Designed to protect the gulf of Arzechena and provide heavy cross-fire with battery Barrage closer to Palau. It consisted of four 57mm cannon that overlooked the lower but larger emplacement of six 280mm guns.

3. Battery Barrage Palau located half way between Capo D'Orso and Monte Altura, it was designed to provide approach protection for Capo D'Orso emplacements.

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