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Translated Jeff Matthews

These are positions for one or more artillery pieces generally dug into rocky wall faces; they may be separate or connected by tunnels, which, in turn, may have their own internal secondary structures. [In Italian] such an emplacement may also be called batteria incavernata and galleria cannoniera.

Some speleologists have documented one such underground emplacement, built in 1916/17 at level 223 to the north of San Michele del Carso. The emplacement is in the form of an obtuse angle [i.e., greater than 90°] and contains six casemates, each with a single artillery piece. There is a tunnel leading off from one of the casemates, probably leading to an observation post. On the opposite side there are two entrance tunnels that once connected to the surface and a third tunnel that joined the main tunnel with an entrance tunnel. The interior is reenforced with masonry and concrete (Stocker U., Cernigoi E. [with historical notes and ed.], “Caverne militari a nord di San Michele del Carso”, in Federazione Speleologica Regionale del Friuli-Venezia Giulia [ed.], Annals of VIII Convegno Regionale di Speleologia del Friuli Venezia Giulia, Località Cave di Selz (Ronchi dei Legionari – Gorizia) 4-5-6 June 1999, Trieste 1999, pp. 252-256).


Padovan Gianluca (ed. ), Archaeology of the Subsoil. Lectures and studies of artificial cavities. British Archaeological Reports, International Series 1416, Oxford 2005.

Basilico Roberto et alii, Italian Cadastre of Artificial Cavities. Part 1. (Including introductory comments and a classification), B.A.R. International Series 1599, Oxford 2007.

Gianluca Padovan (Associazione S.C.A.M. – Federazione Nazionale Cavità Artificiali)

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Austrian cave battery in the Castelletto (Tofane), today holding an Italian artillery piece (Tofane) (photo, G. Padovan)

Cave battery

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