West Star

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Monte Moscal with access to the West Star Bunker

Weststar was the code name of an underground duct system of NATO in the Lake Garda mountains in northern Italy . The bunker is located in Monte Moscal, between Lake Garda and the Adige Valley , around 25 kilometers northwest of Verona . In the event of war with the Warsaw Pact states, military operations in the northern Italian theater of war should be directed from here.


The West-Star-Bunker is located in the province of Verona between the towns of Costermano in the north, Affi in the east, Cavaion Veronese in the south and Bardolino in the west. It was planned from 1958 to 1960 and then built into the rock massif of Monte Moscal by 1966 . Of a total of 13,000 square meters of built-in area, 4,000 serve as the command center and a further 4,000 for logistical support. The tunnels to the two main entrances Alfa (on Via Sottomoscal ) and Beta as well as to the emergency exit cover a total of 5,000 square meters. The facility has two floors, with another level below for cables, pipes and other support facilities. In four water tanks 120,000 liters of water can be saved as a whole. The large bunker was intended to offer 400 to 500 people protection for several weeks in the event of an attack with conventional, nuclear, biological or chemical weapons and to ensure military command. The facility also includes a helicopter landing pad in the north, the Monte Moscal telecommunications bunker in the southwest and south, near Cavaion Veronese, the San Michele telecommunications bunker, which could also be used as a command center if required. A few kilometers further east, in Monte Vicino near Grezzana , another bunker system was built from 1960 to 1966, but somewhat smaller than West Star, as an alternate command center. Until 2000 she was decked out with the deck designation Back Yard .


During the Cold War , the NATO command Landsouth (Headquarters Allied Land Forces Southern Europe) was located in Palazzo Carli in Verona . In the event of an attack by the Warsaw Pact armed forces, this command, led by an Italian general, was supposed to take over command of the three corps of the Italian field army in northern Italy and of the Allied reinforcements deployed there. The command of the 5th Allied Tactical Air Force (5ATAF) was located at Vicenza airfield , which in the event of war should essentially take over the command of the Italian and Allied air force units in Italy. Both the command post of Landsouth and that of 5ATAF were in the West Star bunker. There were also liaison offices for other NATO commands.

The West Star bunker was under Landsouth from 1960 to 1999 , followed by its successor organization Joint Command South, which was also located in Verona, until 2004 . The command system was used regularly for military maneuvers for around 40 years . In 2004, the Support Detachment North East Italy , a branch of the Allied Joint Force Command Naples, took over the bunker until it was handed over to the Italian army at the end of 2007 , which however also no longer needed the facility. For several years there have been plans to set up either a research facility or a museum about the Cold War in the bunker . It was also proposed to have a larger wine cellar and restaurant there. The Veneto region recently campaigned for the preservation of the bunker system.

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Coordinates: 45 ° 33 ′ 25 ″  N , 10 ° 46 ′ 11 ″  E