With the Congress of Vienna the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, including Elba, was once again handed over to the Lorraine family, in the hands of Ferdinando III, and within a few years the Tuscan administrative system took the place of the French one.
When the first War of Independance broke out, both the Tuscan islands and Elba, were mainly used as prisons for the enemies of the state. In 1860 Elba too became member of the Kingdom of Italy, but, not being granted any exemptions or priviledges on behalf of the Grand Duke it underwent a heavy economical depression.
In the final two main wars the strategic position and the possibility of producing arms thanks to its iron resources were the main reasons for the logistic interest on behalf of the European arms.
The tunnels between Procchio and la Biodola are proof of this, as are the firing positions in Capo Poro, real military structures with small barracks and munitions depots in Capo Enfola and the strong>Beacons in Chiessi and Monte Grosso.
When World War I broke out, the steel implant in Portoferraio became very important from a strategic point of view and the production greatly increased; many workers were exempt from being called to war. Apart from the high number of men killed at war, the only event that directly concerned Elba was on May 23rd 1916 when an Austrian-German submarine torpedoed the blast furnaces in Portoferraio causing serious damage and many victims as well as the sinking of the Washington steamer just off the tiny island of Palmaiola.
At the end of World War I a total of 374 soldiers from Elba had lost their life.
The early years of World War II were a very dramatic period that saw the birth of the early fascists but fortunately there were no real episodes of violence, and thankfully the war that traumitized the rest of Italy up to the end didn't affect Elba in a direct way. The armistice of September 8th 1943 thanks to the British-Americans however made Elba's position complicated during the war.
The entire situation plummeted on the morning of September 16th when the Germans bombed Portoferraio for the first time, followed by the island being immediately occupied by the Reich troops.
The following nine months were full of very hard and difficult events like the sinking of the Andrea Sgarallino steamer just off Nisportino in which 300 civilians perished, as well as the continual bombings carried out by the allies on the town of Portoferraio. That was when the people from Elba fully realised what the violence, hunger and degradation that come with war really was.
The French army had the task of getting rid of the Germans on the Island of Elba, and this was known as the Brassard Operation (17th to 20th June 1944). During these four days of fighting many civilians lost their life while the allied goverment that had become German, found Elba in an absolutely terrible condition.
The major sources of help and assistance on the island had been destroyed, the houses damaged, and all sea connectionshad come to a complete end. All most of the locals could do was to emigrate, while the others, thanks to the aid from the Cassa di Mezzogiorno, were able to build the first hotels, campsites and bathing establishments.
This was the start of a new re-development and re-building of the Island of Elba and its success in the international world of tourism.
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