Site Records

SiteName: Gordolon (Maginot Line Gros Ouvrage)

Alpes Maritimes Sector
Wetern Bank of River Vesubie
West from D2565

Sub Brit site visit 25th September 2002

[Source: Nick Catford]

The gros ouvrage of Gordolon which was manned by 246 men is located close to the western bank of the River Vésubie at the end of a long dead end road off the D2565.Approaching the site the road becomes more overgrown and rutted and is eventually blocked by a fallen tree.

The main entrance (Block 1) is a further 200 yards along the road. When visited in September 2002 the drawbridge was up but the men's entrance alongside was open.

Gordolon is on two levels with the entrance block, usine and caserne at road level with a stairway up to an intermediate corridor 60 feet above. At each end of this corridor further stairs lead to the two fighting blocks. The initial layout is similar to other forts in the Alpes Maritimes Sector, just inside the entrance there is a defended dog leg and beyond that an air lock into the main lower corridor.

Photo:The generators (Usine)
Photo by Nick Catford

On the right is the filter room with two banks of carbon filter cylinders along each wall and ventilation trunking running from there into the rest of the tunnels. Opposite the filter room is the generator room (usine). There are three marine diesel generators, some parts have been removed but they are generally in good condition. There is electrical switchgear along one wall and compressed air tanks for starting the generators.

Photo:The lift
Photo by Nick Catford

Back in the corridor, the next room on the right is the kitchen. The range has gone but the extractor hood above it is still in place as are the sinks alongside. As usual there is a serving hatch into the corridor.

Beyond the kitchen there is a junction with the caserne straight ahead (all rooms empty) and the stairway to the intermediate corridor a short distance to the right. At the junction there is an original sign on the wall which reads 'Etage Superieur - PC Bloc 2, Bloc 3 Soutes' with an arrow pointing in that direction. There is a single lift with stairs winding around it and alongside it the lift motor room in good condition.

Photo:The command offices
Photo by Nick Catford

The stairs to the fighting blocks are located at either end of the upper corridor and along a side passage is the artillery commanders office with other command offices alongside. All retain their individual telephone booths. The guns are still in place in both fighting blocks. Block 3 has two 81mm mortars and Block 2 has two 81 mm mortars on the lower level and two 75mm canons on the upper level. Alongside the mortars in both blocks there are two ammunition lifts up from the floor below.

Photo:Block 3 - 81 mm mortar with ammunition lift alongside
Photo by Nick Catford


For further pictures of this site continues here

[Source: Nick Catford]

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