The FW4 is the only emplacement on the front line reachable on skis in winter.
The Italian soldiers dug it into the ridge called Muraglia Rocciosa, a rock wall fortified by the Austro-Hungarians to defend the Lagazuoi saddle.
In winter, you can visit it on skis by turning right directly after the departure of the slope at the top station of the Lagazuoi cable car.
The emplacement is a tunnel dug into the rock with two armoured emplacements for machine guns and two embrasures for the observation of the areas Col dei Bos and Castelletto.
Today, there is a reproduction of the Schwarzlose machine gun with an audio description.
On the western slope of the ridge, you can see the recesses dug into the rock for the Austro-Hungarian huts.
Winter on Mount Lagazuoi
The real challenge for both armies was to face winter, the avalanches and the frost. It was the first war in the history of man fought in winter high up in the mountains.
The sniper’s nest “Postazione del Cecchino” is situated right next to the emplacement Feldwache 4.
Going up a ladder, you enter the tunnel that leads to a machine gun position and a guard emplacement.
The tunnel continues for a few meters and stops abruptly because the defeat of Caporetto, with the subsequent abandonment of the Dolomite front by the Italian army, interrupted the connection works of this emplacement with the Feldwache 3.
The FW 3 was situated in front of the terrace of the Lagazuoi cable car top station but has unfortunately collapsed.
The Life of the soldiers at high altitude during the First World War
The fears, thoughts and the pride of the soldiers on the mountain.
The Austrian guard emplacement Feldwache 2 is situated right in front of the terrace of the Lagazuoi Refuge.
By walking through a communication trench dug into the rock of the mountain, the soldiers could reach the warehouses and the dormitories situated further west.
The rock of this connection trench has collapsed and is now not visible, while you can clearly see the guard emplacement FW2 (Feldwache 2).
Looking towards the Val Badia, you can see the soldier‘s dormitories, protected by a stone buttress. The Alpini of the A.N.A. (Associazione Nazionale Alpini) branch of Treviso recently restored them.
Transportation in the mountains to supply the front line.
The cable cars were the innovative solution to ensure the necessary support for the soldiers under enemy fire at high altitudes.