Franco-Italian Alps cleared of barbed wire
July 20, 2012 3:12 AM Subscribe
Barbed Wire no longer lines the Franco-Italian Alps
posted by fraula (24 comments total)
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. On the 11th of July this year, after working since 2002, mainly in the Mercantour National Park
, the last of 134 tonnes of steel was finally removed for recycling by teams of volunteers.
During WWII, although the Franco-Italian
alpine border was "not a military front of primary importance, it was defended by massive fortifications and specialised troops: the Italian Alpini
and the French Chasseurs alpins
, who were recruited from local communities." There were several types of barbed-wire defences
, many of which could be found in the Alps: "For about 70 years, the ground in the area had hidden a network of metallic spikes, barbed wire, and debris".
The Franco-Swiss and Franco-Italian Alps have now been cleared of these dangerous installations
[article in French], which had been injuring and hampering wild animals as well as hikers. In order to preserve the wartime history, each barbed wire site was mapped, and a line of it was kept at France's Mont Saint-Sauveur
, with a sign explaining its background.