The explosives factory NOBEL

Signa has hosted for a good half of the twentieth century dynamite factory that has played a central role in the supply of the Italian Army during the two world wars. In Italy there was already a dynamite factory in Avigliana owned by the companies of Alfred Nobel, but had some problems: it was too close to the borders enemies, had old machinery and had been the victim of some serious explosion. For this reason it was decided to build a new factory on a site that had the best features. The location chosen was located at the confluence with the river Ombrone the hive, near the border with Carmignano on the way to Comeana. Because of its proximity to Carmignano, his station and his community that the factory will be named the plant Carmignano even if it was in the territory of Signa. The reasons for the choice were many: a relative proximity of the quarries of pyrite of the Maremma and the Val di Cecina, remoteness from the sea-coast, in a central position with respect to the State, the easy access by rail to the port of Livorno (proximity to the railway Carmignano), the characteristics of the place, isolated and surrounded in part by the Ombrone good at that point forms a loop. The land, part of the estate of San Momeo in the area called The Pict, was purchased in 1912 and a year later began the jobs that were impressive: it was moved to the main road between Signa and Comeana that passed just inside the chosen area for the factory, and was consequently built a new bridge, the forest was planted in portions of the hill, however, were planted with vines in order to make the system difficult to detect from the air forces that were beginning to develop; buildings were built very solid, draw roads , avenues and squares, and dig tunnels. The production had features exclusively military. During the First World War, the factory produced mainly explosives and munitions of large caliber cannon: balistite and dynamite. After the Great War the factory lost its interest in the property and it was sold in 1925 to Montecatini that ten years later, the Company also acquired General Ammunition and Explosives with the birth of the company Nobel-SGEM. The period of peace in Montecatini used the plant for agricultural experiments (in an open area of the woods on the banks of Ombrone and also in greenhouses) and experimental chemical productions. In the years before the Second World War, however, the factory was again a major military role; resumed the production of explosives (always a nitroglycerin) and were built many new buildings and even a train with small railcars to transport the material between the various pavilions and then downstream to the railroad and of which there are some sections of the rails that are placed on the last stretch of reinforced concrete pylons, which are also attacked by the vegetation, like many other building structures. In the 1944 Nobel fell to the Germans who began to exploit it and from that moment became the subject of sabotage on the part of the partisans: the most sensational occurred on 11 June and this is the story: The night of 11 June 1944 the powder keg blows up, the explosion of 8 convoys full of TNT stops at the station. "It's not an accident, how people think on the spot. No, is the result of sabotage of Patriotic Action Team, led by Bogardo Buricchi. With him, the brother Alighiero, Bruno Spinelli, Ariodante Naldi, Lido Sardis, Mario Banci, Enzo Faraoni and Ruffo Del Guerra. Bogardo Buricchi was born in Carmignano. 24 years old. E 'defined teacher and poet, free spirit, he hates injustice. And 'the undisputed leader. His brother Alighiero just 19 years old. Lino Sardi, a resident of the Sierra, has always lived with the family Buricchi. Bruno Spinelli is the oldest of the group. 43 years old. It 'a former worker of the Nobel Prize. E 'in his first action. Banci Mario is 22 years old. He was born in Genoa by parents of Carmignano. And 'entered the Resistance in December 1943, when it is displaced by a Montalbiolo. Ariodante Naldi, 21, is a student in Florence. Ruffo Del Guerra is 21 years old. Lives in Poggio alla Malva, where he met Bogardo Buricchi, who goes to see the priest frequently. He was of anti-fascist family. His father was reduced from death by the squad. They decided to make an important action targeting the wagons of the train station Nobel gunpowder. Were informed that they are loaded with TNT. And 'Saturday. Drizzling. They are located in front of the bar of Poggio alla Malva. From there he returned to the cypress Cavaccia. Bogardo Buricchi states not to proceed together, but they have to go three on this side and three on the other, while he and Naldi go to law. They know that the wagons are eight, about four hundred yards from the station on a railway track isolated. They also know that there are guards, which must be eliminated. But I do not see them. There is none. The cars there are. Bogardo gives the green light. The Germans are elsewhere. Participate at a party and are far from bright. The operation is simple, says Bogardo. In practice there is to light a fuse. But they also have a time bomb. You never know. Bogardo Ariodante and come in a wagon. Alighiero remains on the ground. A Bruno Spinelli was given a box of forty pounds of TNT. He and Mario Banci have to go to Cavaccia for safekeeping. It can be used for other actions. Ruffo Del Guerra ago from pole in the cypress grove. And 'him to see the light of Bogardo. And 'him to see Bogardo Ariodante and jump off the wagon. And a second after the blinding glare, the tremendous explosion. What did not work? Enzo Faraoni and Lido Sardinians have had time to move. It 'broke a wagon. In succession, they burst the other, is said to have sympathy. Bogardo, his brother Alighiero e Ariodante are thrown against the rocks. Disintegrated, Bogardo and Ariodante. Of them will be found shreds and railway pass of Ariodante. Alighiero has few moments of life. Pharaohs and Sardi end up lying down, not seriously injured. Del Guerra faints perhaps hit by a log. Has seen several fly - frozen - were not even twigs. Bruno Spinelli, the Cavaccia, is invested by the shock wave that detonates the carrying case. It's a flight of several meters and goes to beat his head against a rock. He died shortly thereafter. Mario Banci is injured, but we do move. Non known how many casualties among the Germans. It is true that all the buildings have been invested. Who went well, had the roof blown off. The explosion was heard in Prato and Florence. Which makes us understand the power. That we also look at the size of the crater caused. Are such as to have knocked out a nice stretch of rails, preventing the passage of trains for days and days. It is the most important action of the partisans in Florence. The price paid, however, is salty. We have good people lost their lives. Bogardo Buricchi, despite his young age, he has always shown great maturity and courage. In February, he organized a strike of farmers of Carmarthen at the clutter of additional grain (15 kg for each member of the family). And on March 2 has become the protagonist of the fire from the municipal office where the documents were collected. He also mocked the Band Charity, arrived in Carmignano to bring order. A formation of Prato partisans immediately take the name of Bogardo Buricchi: is the one that took part in the liberation of the city wool. All four, 12 June 1966, the peoples of Carmignano, Prato dedicate a memorial to Poggio alla Malva. It 'called "And now you learn." After the end of the war, government contracts ceased and began the period of crisis that resulted in mass layoffs. A last attempt to save the factory was to convert the factory to the production of plant protection and pesticides. But it was destined for closure that took place in 1958. After that in 1964 the plant has been reclaimed from the residues of explosives and materials used in their manufacture, the area on which stood the plants lies unused and is passed into private hands. Since then a lot of projects for reuse of the area have remained on paper, including the idea, developed in the seventies, to move the entire University of Florence. Instead, everything is kept as it was and the buildings (over a hundred) are in better condition than you might expect, given that only a few roofs with wooden beams collapsed or are unsafe while the walls are largely intact in Because of the great design features and architectural quality that characterizes them, as well as for reinforced concrete structures. Recently the area was about to be bought by a U.S. group to be able to make the film studios, demolishing most of the existing buildings that make up a wealth of industrial archeology that has no equal, both as regards the older buildings the first prewar ones of the second pre-war engineering.

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