Col de la Seigne
Col de la Seignewas a passage already known by the old Latins; it has been used until the Middle Ages period,when the good climate condition allowes the use of alpin passages for several part of the year.
It is not until 1863 than Tour du Mont Blanc, and most of all Col de la Seigne, gets an important role in travel journals and in the stories of english mountaineers. John Ball, president of the Alpine Club, specificallyr eferrs to Col de la Seigne including it in the list of the most beautiful viewing points of the whole Tour, capable of “making this part of the route extremely interesting for truly lovers of nature”
Second World War
The Small barrack at Col de la Seigne( Casermetta) witnessed a period of difficult coexistence between nations on both sides of the Alps: it is an outpost on the border between Italy and France, constantlys upervised by a military garrison. In the 30es, with the increase of the international tension, in this part of Monte bianco spectacular square - bashings were held ,with the manoeuvre of military section in altitude. The darkest moment of these places is linked to the Second World War when Col de La Seigne was theatre of one of the assault made by the italian army behind the back of a France already defeated by the German Nazists.
Today, it is still possibile to see the rest of fortifications and fireposts while the paths between Mont Fortin and Col Chavanne still have the same route of old military walks.
Lots of historical facts happened in Val Veny. Particularly, the tragedy of the military plane B-17 “ Flying Fortress” which, around 4 am on November 1st 1946, crashed on the Aiguille des Glaciers, 3800 mt of altitude range, at the south-western extremity of Mont Blanc. The crash was so strong that the plane litterally fell into pieces, scattering mechanical parts and the rest of his 8 men crew on a huge area on both side of the border.
After the end of the Second World War, the history of the Casermetta finally changed.
In winter 1945, a group of aspiring sky teachers gathered there, under the direction of Francis Salluard, in order to revatalize the Mont Blanc Sky School. Difficulties were huge, economic resources were poora nd sky equipments were missing: the aspiring teachers, then,decided to use the white ash skies left behind from the German Army in their rush to leavea fter April 25th.