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POLVERIERA, ALICE CASTELLO, VERCELLI, PIEDMONT, ITALY



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KEY: Location markers are coloured from Green meaning exact to Red meaning gone or unknown (details here)


Number of Photos:
1
Sample Photo

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Location Category ID:
5230
Address: Strada Provinciale Viverone-Alice Castello, 13883 Roppolo BI (Physical)
Telephone:
Email:
Opening Times: Accessible at any time
Official Website: Comune di Alice Castello
Other Links: CarloClerici.com
Vecio Forum
Comune di Alice Castello
Partisans in Italy
La Gazzetta 1
La Gazzetta 2
Vercelli Centro
Il Biellese
Latitude, Longitude: 45.39472831 , 8.05265665
Location Accuracy: 7
Tanks Previously Here: 1: Carro Armato M15/42 Tank - Forte Bramafam, Bardonecchia, Turin Province, Piedmont, Italy (Until 1990s)


A huge army ammunition depot (‘Polveriera’) was in operation near Alice Castello, Vercelli, from the 1930s to the early 1990s. Around the depot there were many small bunkers and two M15/42 tank hulls used as pillboxes. One was moved to Forte Bramafan some time ago. The other one is still in Alice Castello, but that area is not owned by the army anymore. (Source: M. Foti).
The tank pillboxes consisted of the turret and the superstructure front of M15/42 tanks placed on top of small shelters in concrete. They were emplaced during the Italian Social Republic in defense of a powder store near Lake Viverone. They were fitted with machine guns in the turret mantlet in place of the Breda 47/40 gun and a steel plate was used to close the opening produced in the superstructure. The crew was reduced to two men. Access to the blockhouse was possible through the hull side door and the hatch on top of the turret. The abolition of the cannon and the particular location of the two pillboxes show that these installations were for protection against partisans who very active in the area during the period. The two pillboxes were surrounded by barbed wire. The area was discharged from the military some years ago. One of the structures, one located outside the former military site, went in the 1990s. (Source: CarloClerici.com). This missing example is believed to be the one now at Forte Bramafam.
The ammunition depot was the scene of a number of incidents during the Second World War. For example, during the night of 15 October 1943 it was attacked by partisans; it was captured along with the garrison of six policemen and a large amount of weapons and ammunition.
In 2009 and 2010 various news articles described plans to redevelop the former ammunition store and grounds, partly because of its attractive location near the shores of Lake Viverone. Planned developments include a hotel, restaurant and other commercial buildings. Surrounding areas are to be given over to agriculture and nature with outdoor and educational activities.


1) Carro Armato M15/42 Tank Italian


Number of Photos:
0
Sample Photo from Tank with UniqueID 1557

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Unique ID: 1557
Serial Number:
Registration:
Name:
Other Identification: Small hole in left side of mantlet for armament.

This M15/42 is located by a wooded area within the grounds of the old ammunition store. It consists of just the upper hull and turret; it is missing the entire lower hull, including engine compartment and running gear. It is generally in a poor and rusty condition.