The "FIAT to FIAT" process round and throughout 2WW (in Balcans).

 

 

First stage (1931-1945)

FIAT 1932, X
FIAT 1932
casamatta metallica intatta
intact steel cas.
casamatta met. intatta
intact steel cas.
si noti il raro disegno della pianta
note different plan
pianta comune, spazio interno: 156 x 90cm
common size design

The carbon steel casemate was intended for hosting a heavy MG (generally a FIAT 14/35 model) where a front action was required and the terrain flatness advised against the choice of too visible solutions (concrete casemate with a minimum thickness armour). The HMG steel casemate was made in two models: the first model was made up by assembling two parts, while the other one was made up by four steel parts. The double parts model was intended for flat land defensive works where some suitable roads would have allowed heavy trucks to separately carry the steel components. On the other hand, 4 parts models should have been used in highest sectors so as to be each part transportable by cableways. Some slight differences can be observed between steel casemates of eastern sectors in former Jugoslavia, but all seem to be models made up by two parts. 

The upper part was a cupola making up the whole firing chamber (typical trapezoidal plan, inside dimensions: 1560 x 900mm), while the second part was a steel cylinder the cupola would be inserted into. The two parts were impressively heavy and not comfortable (for 1930's standards) either to carry or to set on place: infact the cupola weight was about 20000kgs, while the lower cylinder weight was about  10000kgs.  The cupola armour had variable thickness depending on the side: the front armour (it had the embrasure and the HMG carriage) was about 300 mm thick, while the armour thickness of side parts of the cupola, its roof and its rear part varied within 220-250 mm range. The cylinder also has the trapezoidal plan of the cupola keeping the same inner dimensions. As of the cylinder armour, its thickness is 150 mm on the front side, while it's 80 mm on sides and rear base. The steel cylinder (2.4m high) was vertically set into a ground pit and sealed in it being the space between the cylinder and the nake rock filled by concrete (the typical terrain on Carso country consists of a deep continuum of more or less compact limestone seldomly hidden by a poor 5-10 cm surface layer of earth). After being tightly inserted into the lower cylinder, the cupola was additionaly bolted on two huge oblique steel screws deeply thrusted into the rock. The casemate cupola also would be then buried into the concrete to make up a circular concrete structure having an over all diameter of almost 6 m. Everything would be finally covered by earth and debris so as to be even more flush with the terrain line.

 

Six steps to metamorphosis (1945-1959)

Step 1 liberata dal cemento e sbullonata dai perni
concrete+screws off
pronta per essere disinserita dal cilindro
ready for discon.
                   Set the cupola free from concrete, then loose the screws nuts
Step 2 ultimo pezzo della cupola dopo l'esplosione
left steel chunk
casam.scoperchiata
torn open casem.

                                                            A few options: either use explosives to tear off steel chunks to more easily take any steel part away or ...(next step)

Step 3 cupola disinserita dal cilindro
separated cupola
pronta per essere trascinata via
ready to be dragged
                                                            separate the whole cupola from the lower cylinder by an appropriate crane and drag it away to the truck loading platform
Step 4 anello inferiore da liberare
concrete sealed cyl.
all'interno dalla casamatta scoperchiata
inwards

                                                         Once the cupola is taken away, set the lower cylinder free from concrete, extract it from the pit by the same crane and take it away

Step 5 asportazione interrotta
extraction aborted
                                            Otherwise: abort the extraction of the cylinder, fill in the lower bore by stones and debris or ...(next step)
Step 6 estratto tutto, tranne i perni obliqui
left screws
estratti anche i perni
no steel parts left
                                                   Once the lower cylinder had been extracted and taken away, fill the pit with debris and stone; eventually uproot the screws

 

Last stage (1960-1989)


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