Italië / Vestingwerk

Coastal Defence Post




On Torre di Mare beach, in Capaccio-Paestum, at the spot where the American Fifth Army landed on 9 September 1943, a defensive post built during WWII can be seen.

Known to many as the Paestum bunker, the facility was built by Italian soldiers of the 222nd Coastal Division. This is the only Italian military bunker that has remained almost intact and represents one of the defensive posts that completed the coastal stronghold of Paestum. Occupied by German troops of the 16th Panzer Division between 8 and 9 September 1943, it was used during the early hours of Operation Avalanche to hinder the landing of the American 36th Infantry Division on Yellow Beach.  

The discovery of the bunker dates back to 2014, thanks to the work of some volunteers who brought it to light and restored it. Immediately after the discovery, the then mayor of Capaccio-Paestum issued an order to clean up the area. The order also provided for the construction of a wooden fence to prevent vehicle access and the installation of suitable security and locking systems. It is a defensive machine gun emplacement with two underground shelters for troops on both sides of it. It features few elements protruding from the ground, to conceal it more easily. The facility consists of two symmetrically positioned underground buildings, 3 metres high and 10 metres long, equipped with a combat chamber and loopholes, to face the advancing enemy soldiers.

An access road behind the post leads to the lowest level, where the entrance to the two underground shelters measuring 3 metres by 2 metres with a barrel roof is located. A staircase leads from the lower level to the post, where the defensive weapon was positioned.

Except for the two underground chambers, whose entrances are closed by gates, today the post can be visited thanks to a number of groups and associations operating in the area and accompanying tourists and visitors to the battlefields of Salerno.