CADORNA LINE is the official denomination with which today the system of fortifications, built along the Italo-Swiss border between the summer of 1915 and the spring of 1918, is defined. This defensive system was built during the First World War, during a time when an Austro-German invasion was feared; the purpose of this system of fortifications was to stop an invasion from Austro-German troops, who, coming through the central Swiss Alps, could have quickly reached and occupied the crucial industrial and economic centres of our Country.
The building of this line, called “Linea di difesa alla frontiera nord” (“Defensive line at the North Border”) was the gathering of almost fifty years of studies, designing, recognitions, geomorphologic research, strategic planning and technological studies.
The Italian government had to take into consideration the possibility of a probable enemy invasion carried out through the border with Switzerland after the alliance with Germany and Austria started to weaken, and the fact that a preference towards Germany started to show from the Swiss high military hierarchy.
Since 1911 the following were built: Gravellona Toce barricade (Mount Orfano’s fortifications to defend accesses from Val d’Ossola and from Lago Maggiore) and the artillery emplacement on Mount Piambello, Scerré, Martica, Campo dei Fiori, Gino and Sighignola.