[Lone Sentry: WWII Tactical and Technical Trends]
  [Lone Sentry: Photographs, Documents and Research on World War II]
Home Page | Site Map | What's New | Intel Articles by Subject

"German Stone Bunkers" from Tactical and Technical Trends

The following intelligence report on German defensive positions in the Italian mountains during WWII was originally published in Tactical and Technical Trends, No. 47, June 1, 1944.

[DISCLAIMER: The following text is taken from the U.S. War Department publication Tactical and Technical Trends. As with all wartime intelligence information, data may be incomplete or inaccurate. No attempt has been made to update or correct the text. Any views or opinions expressed do not necessarily represent those of the website.]


German defensive positions in the Italian mountains are characterized by numerous above-ground but cleverly concealed stone bunker emplacements. Usually these stone bunkers have been found in areas containing underlying strata and out-croppings of rock which prevented adequate digging-in of positions without the use of demolitions. Frequently it has been found that stone walls criss-cross the terrain in such areas and in most cases the bunkers are sited to blend into the general pattern of the walls and rocky slopes, making the bunkers almost indistinguishable until closely approached.

The bunkers generally consist of shallow, scooped-out emplacements, surrounded by strong stone and earth walls, covered with packed and earth-revetted stone to a height of three or four feet. The overhead cover is generally reinforced by heavy timbers or logs. Narrow firing slits are left in the face of the bunkers close to the ground level. Exits are provided in the rear.

Mortar emplacements and shelters for riflemen are usually located behind stone walls while forward machine gun bunkers, although primarily sited for fields of fire, nevertheless are ordinarily so placed as to blend with the appearance of the surrounding terrain.

German bunker positions seldom have many riflemen in the front line. Even at night the majority of riflemen are held back and only a few are used in forward listening posts. As a rule, the forward element of the defense has consisted almost entirely of machine guns. These, together with mortars and artillery, are depended upon by the Germans to stop an attack or to inflict such heavy losses that a swift counterattack by the riflemen will be successful.

[German Stone Bunkers in Italy in World War II]

[German Stone Bunkers in Italy in World War II]


[Back] Back to Articles by Subject | Intel Bulletin by Issue | T&TT by Issue | Home Page

Web LoneSentry.com