Coll. Laurent Demouzon
In 1940, the scout-skiers platoon (SES), 81 Fortress Alpine Battalion (BAF), commanded by Officer Cadet Botte, held the Marches strongpoint at 2,330 m. Cables were stretched across the lake to prevent the enemy from using seaplanes.
On 21 June 1940, 273rd Company of Alpini Val Fassa Battalion emerged from the Peyron Pass and reached the Cheval-Blanc Pass. It was stopped by fire from 7th Battery, 3 Group,114 Horse Artillery Regiment (RALH) positioned in the valley at Villard.
On 22 June, Italian 1 Battalion, 91Infantry Regiment (RI) advanced towards Les Marches chalets. Supported by114 RALH, SES 81 BAF opened fire.Officer Cadet Botte decided to withdraw to the barrage covered by Sergeant Soquet's squad, which had to hold out for 30 minutes. At 8 p.m., the objective was reached. Encircled, Soquetrepelled several enemy attacks. At 8.45 p.m., Botte and his men set off on search of him. The scouts reached the strongpoint where they found the exhausted defenders. Two platoons of 6th Company, 343 Infantry Regiment arrived as reinforcements by the service cable car of the barrage. The Italians then withdrew to the border.